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Ulitb portraits 



AtUhor of " Pioneer Life in Zorra," etc. 

" The truest test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, 
nor the crops; no, but the kind of men the country turns out." EMERSON. 





TO D rt M n ^ 

Entered according to Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year one 
thousand nine hundred, by WILLIAM BRIGGS, at the Department of 











IV. GEORGE MACKAY . . . -51 





XI. HON. J. R. SUTHERLAND . . .121 


XIII. G. L. MACKAY, D.D 136 



XV. NELSON JANES . . . . .157 

XVI. D. S. BURDICK 1 60 





("RALPH CONNOR") . . .198 

XXII. CAPT. JOHN M. Ross . . .208 

XXIII. DR. A. E. MATHESON . . .218 

XXIV. JOHN S. MACKAY . , . . .226 


Clan Mackay 

Zorra Clergymen 

Zorra Doctors 

Zorra Lawyers 

The Murray Family ..... 

The Ferguson Family 

Rev. Donald McKenzie 

Rev. G. Munro, M.A 

Rev. E. D. Silcox 

Rev. G. C. Patterson, M.A 

James Wood 18 

A. M. Sutherland 26 

Prof. H. J. Cody, M.A 42 

George Mackay 51 

Thomas Adams 65 

George N. Matheson . . . . - 73 

Hon. D. Mackay 81 

Dr. James Fraser 89 




Paul Murray and his son John . . .103 
James and John Fletcher . . . .109 
Hon. John R. Sutherland . . . .121 

Mervin Cody 126 

Rev. G. L. Mackay, D.D. .. . . .136 

Prof. Donald Mackay, Ph.D 149 

Nelson Janes 157 

D. S. Burdick 160 

John Griffiths 171 

Thomas Oliver, M.P. . . . 177 

Hon. James Sutherland, M.P 188 

Rev. C. W. Gordon, B.A. ("Ralph Connor") . 198 

Rev. A. S. Macleod, M.A 205 

Capt. John M. Ross 208 

Dr. A. E. Matheson 218 

J. S. Mackay . . . , . . .226 


1. John McCorquodale. 2. J. Sutherland MacKay. 3 John Matheson. 4. Hugh 
Matheson. 5. John S. MacKav. 6. Walter MacKay. 7. Hugh Morrison. 8. James 
Sutherland. 9. Prof. G. L. MacKay. 

Consisting of father, mother and twelve children, all living except the father. 

1. George Murray. 2. Mrs. Neil MacKay. 3. John R. Murray. 4. Mrs. (Judge) Crumpacker. 
5. Huh Murray. 6. Hector Murray. 7. Mrs. A. U. Murray. 8. A. U. Murray, deceased, '92. 
9. Alex. Murray. 10. Wm. Murray. 11. Mrs. W. L. M. Sackrider. 12. Donald Murray. 13. Mrs. 
John Thurlow. 14. Norman Murray. 


1. Win. B. Ferguson. 2. Alexander Ferguson. 3. Hugh Ferguson. 4. Mrs. Win. 
' . Stewart. 5. George Ferguson. 6. Andrew Ferguson. 7. John Ferguson. 





" My pastorate in Embro extended over fourteen of the happiest years of 
my life. A more loving, devoted people I have never met." 






BY Zorra, in the following sketches, is meant 
a little district in Oxford county, Ontario, some 
ten miles square, composed of part of East and 
part of West Zorra, and containing a population 
of about fourteen hundred. It was settled about 
the year 1830, chiefly by Highlanders from 
Sutherlandshire, Scotland. 

Within the last forty years there have gone 
from this district over one hundred young men 
who have made their mark in the world. With 
most of these it has been the writer's good for- 
tune to be personally and intimately acquainted ; 
and companionship with some of them has been 
to him a pleasure and a benefit. Three of them 
are to-day millionaires, or within sight of that 


coveted goal ; three are senators in the United 
States ; two are presidents of colleges, one in 
England and one in the United States ; one 
is a professor in an American college and one 
in a Canadian college ; another was appointed 
to a professor's chair but death intervened ; one 
was a member of the Dominion Parliament, and 
after him, a second ; and on his death, a third 
was elected, and he is to-day a member of the 
Dominion Cabinet ; one is at the head of the 
largest departmental store in the world ; one is 
a liberal patron of the fine arts ; one is the 
most famous missionary in the world, while two 
others are intimately associated with him in the 
same work ; one is " Ralph Connor," the popular 
author ; one is an inventor of wide reputa- 
tion ; several are prominent lawyers ; two or 
three dozen are physicians, and about twice that 
number are clergymen. Of the latter, six have 
the degree of B.A., four that of M.A., two Ph.D., 
and nine D.D. 

It is not intended to include all these in the 
following sketches ; this were impracticable, but 
it is believed that a brief, unvarnished account 


of the career of some of them may be an inspira- 
tion, not only to the young men of Zorra to-day, 
but to men everywhere struggling against diffi- 
culties, and earnestly engaged in the conflict of 
life. Such sketches will also be to many a pleas- 
ant souvenir of early days, when 

" Hearts were light as ony feather, 
Free frae sorrow, care and strife." 

When we speak of the boys abroad, we make 
no comparison unfavorable to the boys at home, 
some of whom, as we shall see, are filling high 
and useful positions in the land. Still, it is the 
absent one who is most frequently thought of 
and spoken about, and news concerning him is 
as water to a thirsty traveller. 

The end of the nineteenth century finds us 
living at high pressure, and engaged in a keen 
competition for wealth, position or subsistence. 
The indolent, the weak, the intemperate must go 
under. Never were tact, push and principle 
more necessary to him who would succeed in 
life. In the " Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad " 
we have success illustrated by example. Born 
in humble though Christian homes, reared amid 


hardships and sometimes want, they were un- 
consciously trained by a stern but kind Provi- 
dence in those habits of temperance, economy 
and hard work which have brought them to the 
front in almost every department of life. 

What is success ? It is not wealth, learning 
or power, although these may be included. It 
is the building up of a pure, strong, noble charac- 
ter. The man who overcomes selfishness, indo- 
lence, wastefulness, and becomes kind, industri- 
ous, frugal, is a success, though he may not 
make much money, or be a great man for people 
to look up to with wonder. Success has been 
rightly defined as consisting in " the proper and 
harmonious development of those faculties which 
God has given us." The present is an intensely 
materialistic age, when, in the mad rush after 
gain and worldly pleasure, home life is at a low 
ebb, the religious education of the young sadly 
neglected, and the sanctity of the Sabbath 
trampled under foot. We would seek to com- 
bat this dangerous tendency of our day by 
exhibiting men born and reared in homes where 
God was honored, the children instructed in the 


Scriptures, and the Sabbath observed as holy 
unto the Lord and honorable. While the fol- 
lowing sketches will introduce the reader to 
some " boys " who have acquired considerable 
wealth, yet, so far as known to the writer, they 
have done it by honorable means. Their capital 
has been energy, economy, tact, industry and 
Christian character. Their money is not laid 
up, but laid out, and their beneficence is a 
benediction to many poor and needy ones. A 
few of those of whom we shall speak, though 
poor in material things, are rich in faith 
millionaires in qualities that go to constitute a 
noble Christian life. One of them thus writes 
to me : "I never enjoyed material prosperity. 
The Lord saw best that I should not ; for when 
I prospered financially I almost invariably suf- 
fered spiritually." The example of such men, 
rich or poor, is an honor to the memory of our 
pioneer fathers and mothers, and ought to be an 
inspiration to the young men and women of 

Perhaps no son of Zorra would refer to the 
humble circumstances surrounding his entrance 


into life as a positive disadvantage. To the 
brave, apparent hindrances are real helps. " Ad 
astraper aspera" No mah was ever rocked into 
a strong character in a hammock. Life is a 
battle. We must conquer difficulties, or difficul- 
ties will conquer us. It is with us, as with the 
Highlanders in battle, when their chief called 
out to them, " Lads, there they are. If ye dinna 
kill them, they will kill you." 

" There's always room at the top," someone 

"Yes," I reply, "but no man ever reached the 
top sitting in a cushioned Pullman car." 

Think of the early struggles of Lincoln, Grant, 
Garfield. Call to mind the fact that of the seven 
Dominion premiers we have had since Confed- 
eration, nearly all were developed through the 
struggles of early life. One was a shoemaker, 
another a printer, another a stonemason, an- 
other an errand boy. Self-indulgence is a 
curse to anyone. The greatest misfortune that 
can happen to a boy is to have all his wants 
supplied without any effort on his part, so that 
he grows up in a life of luxurious ease. Such a 


misfortune did not overtake the Zorra boys, and 
for that they have reason to be thankful. 

In the following sketches we may occasion- 
ally refer to the failings, foibles and amusing 
experiences of the boys, for these are not with- 
out their lessons ; but it was undoubtedly, in a 
large measure, their stern Puritanical training that 
sent them into the world armed against the 
seductions of easy, luxurious indolence. They 
were taught firmly to believe in an All-supreme 
Ruler, to take the Bible as the infallible rule of 
their faith and practice ; to regard every experi- 
ence in life as coming from the Most High, and 
to feel their responsibility to Him for every act 
of life. This made them strong, devout, suc- 

" I have been," said Gladstone, " in public life 
fifty-eight years, and forty-seven years in the 
Cabinet of the British Government, and during 
those forty-seven years I have been associated 
with sixty of the master-minds of the country, 
and all but five of the sixty were Christians." 

So far as known to the writer, no Zorra boy 
to-day is ashamed of either the porridge or the 


Catechism on which he was reared. On the 
contrary, many readily testify how much they 
owe to the wholesome physical and mental 
pabulum of boyhood days. 

The Indian motto is : " Don't walk if you can 
ride ; don't stand if you can sit down ; don't sit 
down if you can lie down." Different is the 
motto of the typical Zorra boy : " Don't sleep 
when you ought to be awake ; don't stay awake 
with eyes closed and hands folded ; work with 
your hands, think with your head, and love with 
your heart, and never forget that character is 

If it should be objected to the following 
sketches that they are partial and imperfect, in- 
asmuch as I do not publish the faults of my 
friends, I have only to reply that I plead guilty 
to the offence, if offence it be. There are so 
many ready to point out faults, that I may be 
excused if I prefer to look on the sunny side of 

Don't look for the flaws as you go through life, 

And even when you find them 
'Tis wise and kind to be somewhat blind, 

And look for the virtues behind them. 


Alexander the Great had an ugly scar on his 
forehead, received in battle. When an eminent 
artist was requested to paint his portrait, he 
said : " If I retain the scar it will be an offence 
to the admirers of the monarch, and if I omit it, 
it will fail to be a perfect likeness. What shall 
I do ? " He hit upon a happy expedient. He 
sketched the monarch leaning upon his elbow 
with his forefinger upon his brow covering the 
scar. There was the likeness, and the scar 

Thus I would study to paint with the finger 
of charity on the scar of a brother, hiding the 
ugly mark, and revealing only the beautiful, the 
true and the good. 

P.S. A number of these sketches originally 
appeared in the Montreal Witness, and were 
copied extensively by the press of the Dominion. 
At the request of many friends they are now 
collected, revised, and published in permanent 



OF few of her sons is Zorra more justly proud 
than of James Wood, with whom we begin our 
sketches of " Zorra Boys at Home and Abroad." 
The accompanying engraving conveys a fair 
idea of his strong, manly physique. 

In stature he stands six feet two and a half 
inches ; weighs two hundred and thirty pounds ; 
is broad-shouldered, full-chested, straight as an 
arrow, with muscles knit together like whip- 
cords, and nerves like steel springs ; his grand 
head well set upon massive shoulders, and 
covered with a thick coat of glossy brown hair ; 
his eye melting blue, his features clearly cut, 
and his whole countenance beaming with the 
strong manhood which it represents. Though 




in the sixty-eighth year of his age, his step is 
firm and elastic ; and there is a swing in his 
gait which marks his movements with dignity 
and energy. He is a man you cannot meet on 
the street without an involuntary tribute of re- 
spect to his fine presence, and a lingering look 
at his manly figure, as he rapidly disappears out 
of your sight on his way to his work, in the 
stock yards. 

From the humble log-house in Zorra to the 
fashionable mansion on Michigan Avenue, 
Chicago, is a long step, but James Wood has 
taken it ; and he has taken it by means not less 
creditable to the goodness of his heart than to 
the cleverness of his head. 

Canadians who visited the World's Fair in 
Chicago perhaps saw few things that made a more 
lasting impression upon their minds than what 
they witnessed at the Union Stock Yards. This 
enormous business centre includes no less than 
475 acres of land, 320 of which are covered with 
plank and brick flooring. These yards contain 
25 miles of streets, 38 miles of water troughs, 90 
miles of water pipes, and 50 miles of sewerage. 


The object of the yards is to furnish facilities 
for marketing all kinds of live stock cattle, 
hogs, sheep, horses and goats. The value of 
all animals marketed there during the year 1899, 
I find, from the annual report, to be the incon- 
ceivable sum of $233,711,180; while the bank 
through which this enormous business is trans- 
acted shows deposits of over $550,000,000. 

This vast business is transacted by about one 
dozen different firms, and a Zorra boy is at the 
head. The firm of Wood Brothers, with James 
Wood as the leading member, stands first. 

The following brief sketch of this son of Zorra. 
will be of interest. 

He was born, January 16, 1833, in Morayshire, 
Scotland ; emigrated with his parents to Canada 
in 1834, and lived in Glengarry, Ont, for about 
one year. He then, with the rest of his family, 
moved to Zorra, and received his early education 
in Embro school. 

While yet little more than a boy, he was 
made chaplain of the division of the Sons of 
Temperance in the village. This caused him to 
think seriously of his own spiritual condition, 


and his fitness to lead others in prayer. The 
result was decidedly religious views, and an open 
consecration of himself to God. At first he 
thought of devoting himself to the Christian 
ministry, and with this object in view, studied 
two sessions in Knox College, Toronto. Dur- 
ing this time he preached frequently and with 
much acceptance to his hearers, though never to 
his own satisfaction. 

" How did you get along at ? " was asked 

him after returning from a service in the country. 
" Well, I preached about half an hour, and told 
them all I knew, and a good deal I did not 
know," was the frank and ready response. 

But his health failed him, and he became con- 
vinced that he could not stand the close confine- 
ment of student life. 

Leaving college, he served an apprenticeship 
to coach building in London, Ont, with the firm 
of Lowrie & Campbell, and in recognition of his 
fidelity and efficiency his time of service was 
reduced six months, and he was offered the 
charge of the establishment, which, however, he 
modestly declined to accept. After this he 


worked for a time at his trade in Aylmer, Ont. 
His master failed in business, and Mr. Wood, 
with that energy and unselfish devotion to the 
interests of his employer which has always 
characterized him, got a team of horses and 
peddled the unsold wagons through the country, 
and in a short time had them all disposed of, to 
the great relief of the owner. In this action we 
see one of the secrets of success in life. The 
trouble with most young men is that they never 
think of doing more than they are paid for. 
They don't put earnestness or enthusiasm into 
their employer's work. So much work for so 
much pay, is their motto. But to be appreciated, 
a young man must at times show his willingness 
to do more than he is paid for. To the utmost 
of his ability he must make his master's interests 
his own. Such men are scarce and, therefore, 
sooner or later, sure of promotion. 

Mr. Wood has never failed in business, and 
has always promptly met every obligation when 
due ; hence the great confidence placed in him 
to-day by thousands who have never seen him, 
and the immense business which he controls 
extending into nearly State of the Union. 


We have seen that, early in life, Mr. Wood 
identified himself with temperance workers, and 
all his life he has practised total abstinence, not 
only from drink, but from tobacco in every 
form. This not only helped to make him a 
strong, clean man ; but, while he was a poor 
man, it greatly helped him in business by pre- 
venting an unnecessary waste of money. 

A young man came to a millionaire asking 
for assistance to start in business. 

" Do you drink ? " was the first query. 

" Occasionally," was the response. 

" Then stop drinking, and at the end of a year 
come back and report to me." 

At the end of a year the young man returned 
and reported that he had not touched liquor for 
the year. 

" Do you smoke ? " was the next query. 

" A little," was the response. 

" Then stop smoking and at the end of a year 
report to me." 

He did so, and during the year the young 
man said to a friend, " I am not going back 
again, for I know what he will say to me. He 


will say, ' If you have stopped drinking and 
smoking you have saved enough money to start 
in business,' and I have," added he. 

Hard work and a dogged determination to 
succeed also help to account for this Zorra boy's 
success. Genius has been defined as a capacity 
for hard work. The Zorra pioneers had little 
gold or silver to bequeath their children, but 
they did teach them industry and frugality as 
the way to material success. 

But more than anything else, early religious 
training has conduced to James Wood's won- 
derful business prosperity. His father was an 
esteemed elder of the Church, and in his home 
God was honored. James was always in his 
place in church, and in the Sunday School; first 
as a scholar, and then as a teacher and superin- 
tendent. He early declared his religious con- 
victions, and to-day he is the main pillar of the 
4 1st Street Presbyterian Church, Chicago ; and 
his generous treatment of employees, his Chris- 
tian activity, and large benefactions, are known 
far beyond his own church and city. 

We sometimes hear it said that high Christian 


attainment is incompatible with great business 
success ; business, we are told, cannot be con- 
ducted on the principles of the Golden Rule. 
The career of James Wood proves the contrary, 
and shows us that real Christianity, not a Phar- 
isaical profession of it, cannot fail to develop a 
good character ; and a good character is sure, in 
the long run, to bring a man to the front. 

" Give us men ! 
Strong and stalwart ones ; 
Men whom highest hope inspires, 
Men whom purest honor fires, 
Men who trample self beneath them, 
Men who make their country wreath them 

As her noble sons, 

Worthy of their sires. 
Men who never shame their mothers, 
Men who never fail their brothers, 
True, however false are others ; 

Give us men, I say again, 

Give us men!" 



IN the strong, well-defined features of the 
accompanying engraving many of my readers 
will recognize the full development of the stout, 
sportive, muscular boy of fifty years ago. He 
was then known as Sandy Suthelan (Suther- 
land), and sometimes as Sandy Benjy, to dis- 
tinguish him from another Sandy in the same 
neighborhood. He attended the small log 
school-house built on the south-east corner of 
Hugh Anderson's farm, 9th line East Zorra. This 
was about a mile from his home. He says, " As 
soon as I was able to walk so far, I was sent to 
school, and I recollect my father driving a yoke 
of oxen dragging a log after them, to make a 
track for me in the snow to the school." 



This, it may be added, was no unusual ex- 
perience in those days. To get the boys of 
Zorra to school, no compulsory education law 
was necessary. Whatever the motive, the Zorra 
pioneers highly appreciated the value of educa- 
tion for both their boys and girls, and in many 
cases, I have no doubt, they were strongly re- 
minded of their duty by the consciousness of 
their own lack of learning, until often, like their 
prototypes in Drumtochty, they were willing to 
live on " skim milk and oat cake, to let the 
children have a chance." 

In the case of Alexander Sutherland, the boy 
was father of the man, and his schoolmates of 
half a century ago are not surprised to read of 
him to-day as one of the wealthy men, and one 
of the famous inventors, of the United States, 
whose business extends into almost every State 
of the Union. 

We remember him as the expert athlete of 
the school, full of fun, apparently ready to 
explode with pent-up energy, always ready for 
some practical joke. When the taws could not 
be found, there was a general suspicion that 


Sandy knew something about it ; when the tack, 
point up, was found in the teacher's chair so 
that the Dominie, suddenly sitting on it, quickly 
rose with a shriek, Sandy was the boy that 
didn't laugh ; when a large-sized caricature of 
the teacher was pinned to the back of his coat, 
the general opinion was that Sandy did it ; when 
a greedy, selfish fellow forcibly took an apple 
from Sandy, as he had often done before, and in 
eating that apple found a mouthful of red 
pepper, it was gravely suspected that Sandy put 
the pepper into the apple " on purpose " ; and 
when a big boy, the clown of the school, one 
day suddenly doubled up and shrieked with 
pain, which was found to proceed from a wasp 
in his pants pocket, it was observed by the 
scholars that the big boy had just previously been 
wrestling with Sandy Suthelan, and suspicion 
pointed to Sandy as having put the wasp in 
the pocket. Sandy had a keen sense of the 
ridiculous, and would tell the boys how one 
spring morning when the snow was fast disap- 
pearing, Andrew McKenzie, a neighboring 
Highlander, thus accosted him, " Weel, Mr. 
Suzzerland, I shink we're goin' to have a saw." 


While kind-hearted enough, he was regarded 
as stylish, or uppish in his manners, and too 
dressy for the ordinary country Highlander of 
that day. May we not here learn a lesson as to 
the importance to the boy who would succeed in 
life, of dressing himself neatly if not stylishly. 
Boys, never be slovenly or careless in your 

I remember, also, his brother James and the 
many circus tricks he could play. Standing 
with one foot on the back of a horse, he would 
ride as fast as the horse could run. He could 
revolve at a rapid speed in the manner of a 
wheel, throwing out his hands and feet for 
spokes, and making his body the hub of the 

Alexander Sutherland still delights to tell of 
the freaks and tricks of his early days in Zorra. 
" I was," writes he, " rather a plain-looking 
youth. My hair was very straight and black, and, 
like all Zorra boys, I wore it long. My brother 
James had brown wavy hair, and was quite a 
favorite with the young ladies of our acquaint- 
ance. I was determined to become so. I 


imagined that all I had to do to gain this end 
was to get my hair curled like his. So before 
going to the next party or ' spree,' I was careful 
to get my hair well curled. An old bachelor 
friend of our family told me I looked well. (The 
brute !) That night not one girl would dance 
with me, and .1 was puzzled. I had made the 
mistake of trying to be like another. Many 
keep erring all their lives in that way. I hope 
the lesson was not lost upon me. In aping 
another I looked neither like him nor like 
myself. My mother wouldn't have known me. 
Since that night I have tried always to be 
real, to be myself, to be what God intended me 
to be." 

The old spelling match was at one time as 
popular in Zorra as hockey and football are to- 
day among the boys of our towns and cities, and 
perhaps much more profitable. Those living on 
one concession would usually be pitted against 
those on another. The contest would take place 
in a school-house, which was sure to be packed 
to the door. The school-master, or one of the 
best scholars in the neighborhood, would be 


selected to give out the " spellings." Every old 
spelling-book and every other book, from John- 
son's Dictionary to Ayer's Almanac, would be 
ransacked for hard words. Long and careful 
preparation was made by the intending con- 
testants ; and when the night came, excitement 
in the district ran as high as in a modern politi- 
cal election. 

Each concession line was represented by fif- 
teen or twenty spellers, chosen weeks before- 
hand ; and as each speller scored a point against 
his competitor, great was the cheering of his 
friends. The excitement steadily increased as the 
contestants grew fewer, and the words became 
harder. Mr. Sutherland gives his experience on 
one of these occasions. He says : 

" One night six of us went out to spell down 
the iith line school. We all went on horse- 
back. I don't recollect all six, but Hugh Ander- 
son, James Fletcher and myself were three of 
them. We were good spellers, but were beaten. 
One of the nth line young men gave out the 
1 spellings,' and exhausted several spelling 
books. At last he took up an old dictionary. 


An nth line lad and I were the last on the 
floor. Soon my Waterloo came. The word 
' mosquito ' was given. I put an 'e' at the end ; 
he put two 'tV in it. We were given another 
chance. I left the final 'e' off, and he spelled it 
'muischetto' and won for the nth line. We 
were shown the word, and it was so in the book. 
I now wonder who compiled that dictionary." 

But the evening's entertainment was not yet 
over. One of Mr. Sutherland's party suggested 
a practical joke. There was at this time a toll- 
keeper on the 1 2th line below Lappin's Hotel, 
who was notorious throughout the district as an 
irritable, profane and extremely disagreeable 
creature. On that night the boys determined 
after the spelling match to have some fun with 
this cross man. So all six turned out of their 
way, and headed for the toll-gate, of course, 
not intending to go through. After much din 
they roused the crankiest fellow in the town- 
ship. It was a cold night, and after 12 o'clock, 
and coming out of a warm bed the man was 
more than ordinarily cross. He growled at 
the young men for being out so late. One of 


the party asked him how much he would charge 
for all six horses passing through. 

" Thirty cents, you young saphead," was the 

" We'll not give you more than ten," replied 
the spokesman of the party. 

Then began a stream of skilfully assorted 
profanity which would stagger Satan. The 
toll-keeper needed neither candle nor book, and 
yet the Jackdaw of Rheims never heard any- 
thing like it. Ordinary profanity was, as Mark 
Twain would say, "rudimentary" in comparison 
with it. 

When he had done he was asked if he would 
not let all go through for twenty cents. The 
man's strength and vocabulary were both insuf- 
ficient for the occasion, and with a panting effort 
he shouted " No ! " 

" Well," was the reply, " we won't go through. 
Good night ! " and the boys galloped home 
feeling that they had paid off some old scores. 

His old Zorra chums still enjoy telling how, 
one dark night, Sandy was returning home from 
a "party" on the ninth line. He had to pass 


through a piece of dark woods. Just as he 
entered the dismal forest he thought he heard a 
rustling among the leaves, and also saw some 
black thing moving in his direction. It was a 
bear, no doubt. Quick as thought, Sandy turned 
and took to his heels. Soon he appeared at 
the house he so recently left, pale, speechless 
and almost breathless, and related, as well as he 
could, his adventure. It was a pioneer sensa- 
tion. Quickly every man and boy present 
armed himself with some weapon ; pitchforks, 
axes, spades, knives were never in greater 
demand. Under the leadership of Sandy, the 
excited crowd boldly marched to the spot of 
danger, but Bruin was not to be found. In vain 
the woods were searched through and through, 
and many, as well as loud, were the challenges 
given out. The Canadians at Paardeberg were 
not more brave, nor half so noisy. During this 
midnight hunt Sandy quietly slipped away and 
went home ; and soon after it was confidently 
whispered, that Sandy was only shamming, that 
he had seen no bear, but just wanted to " fool 
the boys." 


At the age of seventeen Mr. Sutherland was 
sent to learn the grocery business with J. & 
A. Clark, of Woodstock ; but here he remained 
only about a year. During this time the follow- 
ing amusing incident occurred. One day a raw 
young lad from the country came into the store 
wishing to purchase a mouth organ. The inno- 
cence of the young fellow, seeking for a mouth 
organ in a grocery store, struck Sutherland as 
ridiculous. Keeping a serious look, he replied, 
" We have none here, but if you come with me 
to the next door we will perhaps get one." So 
saying, Mr. Sutherland led him into a dry- 
goods store, and giving a knowing wink to the 
clerk, quietly asked him for a glove stretcher. 
With this young Sutherland proceeded to 
measure the fellow's mouth, and holding it open 
the full width of his face, asked the salesman if 
he thought that he had a mouth organ to fit 
that. Looking very serious, the salesman an- 
swered, " I am very sorry to say we have not." 
The young fellow went away, sorry he was so 
hard to fit. 

Leaving the grocery business, Sutherland 


entered the West End School, Woodstock, at 
that time taught by Mr. Henry Izard, of whom 
Mr. Sutherland still speaks in terms of the 
highest respect. In this school he chummed 
with John L. Murray and Peter Nichol, both of 
whom are now well-known ministers of the 

" Many a night," says Mr. Sutherland, " into 
the wee sma' hours, did John Murray and I 
wrestle with Colenso's Algebra. John was a 
better algebraist than I, but I was not easily 
excelled in Euclid ; for I so thoroughly mas- 
tered the first four books that all I needed was 
the number of a proposition, and the number of 
the book containing it, and I would reel it off 
like ' The Chief End of Man.' " 

Leaving school, Mr. Sutherland was soon en- 
gaged as a bookseller's clerk with William 
Warwick, of Woodstock. " This," he observes, 
" saved the County of Oxford the trouble and 
expense of another poor lawyer, for a lawyer is 
what I aspired to be." 

In the bookselling business he continued 
about two years, and then started a country 


store of his own in the village of Maxwell, 
County Grey, Ont. Before leaving Woodstock 
his many friends honored him with a public 
supper, where many good things were said and 
happy predictions made concerning the am- 
bitious and popular young man. 

At the time of the Fenian Raid, in 1865, the 
military spirit ran high in Canada, and Mr. 
Sutherland showed himself a true patriot. He 
got together a fine rifle company, hired a drill 
sergeant, and had the men drilled at his own 
expense. However, the danger was soon over, 
and their services were not required. Mr. 
Sutherland says of this, " I was glad. I would 
not like to see a lot of reckless fellows like the 
Fenians shooting in my direction." 

After this Mr. Sutherland moved to Stayner 
and then to Collingwood. Here he amassed 
considerable wealth, and was well known for 
his public spirit. 

Selling his Collingwood business, he with a 
few friends bought 2,000 acres of very fine pine 
land near Barrie. For a while the business 
prospered, but suddenly, through a change in 


the American tariff, there came a panic among 
Canadian lumbermen, and Mr. Sutherland was 
left without a cent in the world. 

He thus writes of his experience at this time : 
" So at the age of forty my entire capital con- 
sisted of a good, hopeful, cheerful wife, four 
dear little girls, the respect of my neighbors, 
and plenty of confidence in myself." 

We cannot here go into all the ups and 
downs, the trials and triumphs of Mr. Suther- 
land's life at this time. He purchased a large 
interest in the American patent covering the 
McKinnon stylographic pen, which in Canada 
was worse than a failure. Mr. Sutherland, 
however, set his wits to work and improved 
upon it. Thus improved, he took it to New 
York, landing in the great city a perfect stran- 
ger, with a small brass model of the pen and a 
borrowed $50. All told him his patent would 
be a failure. " But I went to work," he says, 
" worked night and day, and within three 
months I had a good paying business. I adver- 
tised extensively, and in two years and a half 
I had agents all over the rest of the civilized 


world, as well as in every town and city in the 
United States, and did a large business. 

"In less than four and a half years I made 
clear of all expenses a little over $30,000, and 
sold the business to a bookseller in the city for 
$68,000 more." 

But the great financial event of his life took 
place fifteen years ago, when he was swindled 
into wonderful success. It happened in this way : 
He was induced to purchase a patent for making 
illuminating gas of a high candle-power, at the 
rate of ten cents per thousand feet. But though 
the model worked well, nothing could make a 
larger apparatus than the model work success- 

After experimenting for the greater part of 
two years, paying expensive men to assist him, 
he gave it up. He then went to work and in- 
vented another apparatus for the same purpose, 
on an entirely different plan. This succeeded, 
and was the beginning of a career of uninter- 
rupted and wonderful prosperity. 

Mr. Sutherland is to-day one of the best 
known men in Wall Street, New York City. 


He is President of the Sutherland Construction 
and Improvement Company of New York, and 
president or director of half a dozen other 
companies, the aggregate capital stock of 
which runs into the millions, and his contracts 
run into hundreds of thousands of dollars 

Being asked, To what do you attribute your 
success in life ? Mr. Sutherland replied : " When 
I achieved any degree of success I did it by first 
laying out a plan, and then with unswerving 
perseverance working out that plan and no 
other. Have a purpose and stick to it" 

Self-reliance is a strong characteristic of this 
son of Zorra. Depend on yourself, is his motto. 
He writes : " Once, when a boy, I was thrown 
into deep water in a river by a much older boy, 
who was a good swimmer, and I was told to 
swim or drown. With many awkward flounder- 
ings, and much spluttering, I managed to keep 
afloat half the time, till I got ashore. Ever 
since that time I could swim. 

" Apart from that time I have never gained 
anything by taking other people's advice, unless 


it was medical advice, and that wasn't right half 
the time." 

Mr. Sutherland speaks with gratitude of his 
Christian parents and his religious home train- 
ing, and concludes with these words, so important 
to every young man to-day : " I have noticed 
that those who have come nearest to living up to 
the Golden Rule have been the most uniformly 
successful, both as to character and competence." 



WHAT George Howe, the lad o' pairts, was 
to Drumtochty, Henry John Cody is to Zorra ; 
and no more proud were the Drumtochtyites of 
George than the Zorraites are of Henry John. 
They point to the brilliant scholar of the uni- 
versity, and the learned professor of Wycliffe 
College, Toronto, and assure the visitor that he 
is every inch of him a Zorra boy. True, Henry 
John has some Sassenach blood in his veins, but 
he is of good Gaelic stock, nevertheless ; and 
although he is an Episcopal and doesna' gang to 
the kirk, this arises from too much affection for 
his mother's religion, and so the Celts of Zorra 
love him none the less. 

H. J. Cody is the eldest son of Elijah Cody, 



of Embro, whose mother's maiden name was 
Johanna Sutherland, and who was born in Gol- 
spie, Sutherlandshire. His mother's name was 
Margaret Louisa Torrance, a descendant from a 
good Dublin family, and a member of the 
Church of England. 

He was born in Embro on December 6th, 
1868. Among his early teachers were Hugh 
Morrison, now a barrister in Lucknow, and 
George Jamieson, now Dr. Jamieson, of Lone 
Rock, Wisconsin, U.S. 

Of these Prof. Cody says : " Two more accurate 
and helpful teachers it would be hard to find. I 
am sure that many of the boys received their 
first impulse toward a general love of literature 
and history from the suggestive and broad teach- 
ing of these men." 

These were the days of spelling matches, his- 
tory matches, geography matches, and public 
school debates, when every library in the village, 
public and private, was ransacked for the desired 
information. The annual public examination, 
with its recitations, prizes, etc., formed one of the 
great events of the year. All this was very 


stimulating to the keen, precocious mind of 
young Cody. 

New and improved methods of teaching were 
beginning to be introduced, although the rod 
was still in evidence, and there were many now 
happily defunct methods of exercising discip- 
line. Being made to stand on one foot, or sit 
between two girls, or wear a fool's cap, were 
some of these. Perhaps the most memorable 
one was that called " sitting on nothing." You 
were against the wall and had to put your foot 
out to a certain line, almost a foot and a half 
from the wall, and then put your back straight 
against the wall. The result was sitting on 
nothing, and the spectacle of half a dozen boys 
poised thus against the wall was ludicrous 

The annals of Embro inform the stranger that 
in 1880 the first group of scholars from the vil- 
lage school went up to Woodstock to write on 
the comparatively new entrance examination to 
the High School, that all the applicants were 
successful, and that for years the Embro school 
headed the county list, to the great pride of the 


Young Cody had a brilliant literary career. 
In 1 88 1 he went to Gait Collegiate Institute, 
which he attended for four years, preparing for 
matriculation examination in the university. 
The holidays were, of course, spent at his home 
in Embro. 

In 1885 he matriculated into the University 
of Toronto with first-class honors in classics, 
mathematics and modern languages, and win- 
ning four scholarships the classical, modern 
languages, Prince of Wales and general profi- 
ciency perhaps as high honors as were ever 
won by any student on a similar occasion. His 
university career, thus auspiciously begun, was 
pursued with fidelity and marvellous success. 
He took to Latin and Greek like a duck takes 
to water. The records show that in the first 
year he won the classical, modern language and 
general proficiency scholarships ; in the second 
year, the general and modern languages scholar- 
ships, the medal for general proficiency, and first- 
class honors in logic, metaphysics and ethics ; 
and so on till the fourth or final year, when he 
swept the boards, coming out without a peer, 


having captured the McCaul gold medal in 
classics, first-class honors in metaphysics, the 
prize for best English essay, and other high 
honors. The like of it had never been known 
before, said a Zorra man. 

His high attainments entitled him to a fellow- 
ship in classics at the University, but instead of 
taking it he accepted the appointment of Classi- 
cal Master in Bishop Ridley College, St. 

After holding this post for some time he 
returned to Toronto, and completed his theolo- 
gical course at Wycliffe College. He was after- 
wards appointed to the chair of Church History 
in this college, where he is at present. He is 
also examiner in classics at the University of 
Toronto, as well as lecturer in Latin. 

Last autumn he was appointed rector of St. 
Paul's Church, Toronto, one of the most impor- 
tant and beautiful Anglican places of worship in 
the city. Since his installation the congregation 
has made wonderful progress, and recently a 
large addition was made to the church edifice to 
accommodate the increasing numbers of wor- 


shippers. At the dedication meeting, on April 
2 ist, 1900, his Lordship the Bishop of Toronto 
attributed a great deal of the success of the con- 
gregation to the unusual abilities, earnestness 
and energy of character and the great personal 
charm of manner of Prof. Cody. At the same 
meeting one of the leading laymen of Toronto 
described him as an able minister, who presented 
the simple gospel truths and who did not indulge 
in fantastic ceremonies, or in the presentation 
of strange doctrines. In April, 1900, he was 
selected as the representative of Wycliffe Col- 
lege to the great Ecumenical Missionary Con- 
ference held in New York. 

Surely this son of Zorra reflects no little credit 
on his native township. 

It will be interesting to trace some of the early 
influences which helped to make Prof. Cody the 
man he is. Being asked to state these influences 
he replied as follows : 

" i. The reverent observance of the Lord's 
Day. In my own experience that day was 
never made dreary or oppressive ; but everyone 
really believed that the Lord's Day had some 


decided authority, and could not lightly be dis- 
regarded. That feeling -lasts and does a man 
good as long as he lives. 

" 2. The great amount of Scripture memorized 
in those days. I am astonished when I recall 
what feats we accomplished in this respect. 

" 3. The stimulating character of the general 
religious atmosphere of both the village and 
township. Any boy who chose could have had 
the opportunity of hearing profound and earnest 
theological discussions carried on at all sorts of 
odd times. 

" I remember on the occasion of the re-union of 
the professional men of Zorra, at the garden 
party held on the grounds of the late Donald 
Matheson, hearing Dr. George Duncan and the 
Rev. John Ross, of Brucefield, arguing ingeni- 
ously on the subject of election. Each had, as he 
thought, an impregnable position, and remained 
in it, fearing to sally forth lest he might be taken 
captive by his opponent. Dr. Duncan kept 
asking, ' Did not Jesus taste death for every 
man?' and Mr. Ross kept replying, 'Jesus 
will have every man for whom he died.' The 


theologian, at least, will appreciate the caution 
of the contestants. 

" 4. The establishing of the public library at 
Embro, under the care of Capt. Alex. Gordon, 
was one of the most helpful and stimulating in- 
fluences of my early days. To that library I 
owe personally a great debt of gratitude. Here 
were carried on, almost nightly, the discussions 
political, religious, literary in which the genial 
captain, Dr. Ross, Wm. Stewart, my father (if it 
was a political discussion) and others displayed 
marvellous dexterity, as well as great breadth 
of information. 

" 5. The spirit of sturdy independence, and a 
reliance, under God, upon one's own persistent 
efforts, could not fail to be helpful to any young 
man. Any success I have ever met in life has 
been, by God's blessing, due to downright hard 

" The general early training of Zorra boys in 
plain living, and a reasonable degree of high 
thinking, made them self-reliant, resourceful, and 
determined to push forward. 

" Some of my most amusing recollections of 


old Zorra days are connected with political and 
other public meetings. Of course their political 
meetings were tremendously one-sided, as a 
solid phalanx of Reform voters usually filled the 
hall. But the few Conservatives in Embro were 
all the more resolute and vigorous in their cham- 
pionship of John A. and his doings. There was 
a time, I think, when the only copy of the Mail 
which came to Embro post-office was that which 
my father took. 

" I cannot close without paying a warm tribute 
to the splendid influence, intellectual and moral, 
of the various clergymen who ministered in 
Embro in my time the Rev. Gustavus Munro, 
M.A., the Rev. John Salmon, M. A., and the Rev. 
E. D. Silcox." 




IF so far in these sketches I have said little 
directly of the religious life of some of Zorra's 
young men, it has certainly not been because 
of scarcity of good material. But having in 
" Pioneer Life in Zorra " dwelt largely upon this 
aspect of the life of the district, I did not wish 
to repeat myself here, though the task was 
tempting enough. 

In this sketch, however, I present a few things 
concerning the religious life and the triumphant 
death of a young man of lofty purpose and 
noble character, who was early called to his 
reward, but whose memory will long be fragrant 
in Zorra. 

George Mackay was born on May 27th, 1856. 


He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Mac- 
kay, and was one of a family of eight, seven 
sons and one daughter. Four of the sons were 
dedicated to the ministry of the Presbyterian 
Church. His brothers, Hugh Mackay, of Broad- 
view, N.W.T., and Angus Mackay, of Lucknow, 
Ont., are well-known ministers to-day. His 
brother William died in 1881. 

George, like all Zorra boys, received his prim- 
ary education in the district school. 

After attending for some time the High 
School at St. Mary's, he went to Upper Canada 
College, and entered Toronto University in 


In the summer of 1875 he taught school and 
preached a few times. In February, 1 876, he con- 
tracted a heavy cold, which brought on pleurisy, 
and necessitated his leaving college and seek- 
ing rest at home. Thinking that a trip across 
the ocean might benefit him, his father took 
him in the month of June to visit friends in 
Scotland. While there he gained some strength, 
but on returning, got overheated in Montreal, 
drank too freely of cold water, suffered a relapse, 


and scarcely reached his home when he was 
stricken with typhoid fever, and after an illness 
of ten days passed away on August 25th, 1876, 
in the twenty-first year of his age. 

Young in years, he was ripe in grace, and is 
it not natural for the ripe fruit to fall ? Young 
or old, have they not run long enough who have 
reached the goal and won the prize ? 

Some of George Mackay's letters and death- 
bed sayings have been preserved. Though 
never hitherto published, I venture to say they 
would do no discredit to John Newton or 
Robert Murray McCheyne, if published along- 
side their wonderful words. Such clear views 
of evangelical truth, such depth of Christian 
experience, and such an all-absorbing spirit of 
devotion, combined with deep tenderness and 
humility, are seldom found in one so young. 

On August 3rd, 1874, in a letter to his bro- 
ther Hugh, who had recently entered the Chris- 
tian ministry, he says : 

" DEAR HUGH, I suppose you will be think- 
ing that I ought to be more mindful of you than 
I have been since I left you in Toronto, but I 


must say that I am kept so busy that I can 
scarcely get time to do anything but work, 
work. I mean physical labor. However, I can 
assure you, that when I come in from work 
every night, perhaps very tired and wearied out 
after a hard day's toil, I never forget to call you 
and your work to mind, and to present the 
desires of my heart to our common Father in 
heaven, that prosperity may accompany your 
labors, and that you may indeed feel the assist- 
ance of His Holy Spirit directing you in all 
things. Dear Hugh, I often think what a 
responsible position yours is, and the great 
account you will have to render at the final day 
of retribution. Oh, the need of being closely 
united to the true Vine from which you may 
draw enough to supply all your need ! " 

Writing to his mother from Toronto, he 
makes reference to the recent marriage of his 
sister as follows r 

" MY DEAR MOTHER, I am sure you will be 
feeling a little lonely since Tena left you ; and 
who can blame you, for we can all testify that 
she has been to you a kind and dutiful daughter ; 


and the fact of her being separated from you, 
to become more closely connected with an- 
other, cannot but leave an aching void which 
can only be filled by daily intimacy with the 
Friend who has promised that His kindness shall 
never fail. We need not expect to have earthly 
friends who shall last us all our lifetime. Those 
who are our most intimate companions to-day 
may to-morrow forsake us. But I hope you 
will enjoy spiritual life more than ever, and seek 
to devote all the health and strength God may 
see fit to grant you, in His own service and to 
His own glory. I think you have been a Martha 
long enough ; turn a new leaf now and become 
a Mary. You will realize more happiness in 
old age than you have done hitherto, by ascend- 
ing betimes, with the eye of faith, the heights of 
Pisgah, and viewing the beautiful home, bright 
and fair, that lies beyond the Jordan. I hope 
you are all well. Give my regards to father 
and all, and believe me to be, 

" Your loving son, 



Under date " Knox College, Toronto, Janu- 
ary 24th, 1875," ne writes to a cousin about 
whose spiritual interest he felt much concern. 
He says : " Oh, if there is anything that rejoices 
my heart, and gives me moments of true happi- 
ness, it is to see one whom I love becoming a 
lover of the Saviour, and thus enjoying the 
same happiness, partaking of the same fulness 
of love and grace, and above all, cherishing the 
same blessed prospect of eternal bliss as myself. 
I have made trial both of the world and of 
Christ, and oh, what a contrast ! Alas ! that I 
should have filled out fifteen long years to no 
purpose, satisfying self and Satan, when all my 
time was due to Him who died that I might 
live. Alas ! that I should have so long lived on 
the husks of the world, when in the Father's 
house there was plenty and to spare. Alas ! 
that I should have lived naked and destitute of 
raiment, when during all these long years Jesus 
was offering to me the spotless robe of His own 

" Oh, if you have not yet received Christ into 
your heart, let me entreat you as one who loves 


your soul, to receive Him now ; and then you 
will have something for which to live, and when 
life's battle is ending, and you are about to 
exchange the mortal for the immortal, you can 

' I'll soon be at home over there, 

For the end of my journey I see ; 
Many dear to my heart over there 
Are waiting and watching for me.' " 

His last illness, as already indicated, was short 
in duration, but it was very rich in Christian 
experience and testimony. 

To his father, who was sitting beside his bed, 
he said : 

" Oh, father, you have been so good to me. 
You have done so much for me, and I have been 
so bad to you." He then addressed his Father 
in heaven and said : " I will ask God's forgive- 
ness first. Father, I have sinned against Heaven 
and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be 
called thy son ; make me as one of thy servants." 
After praying to God for some time in this 
manner, he turned again to his earthly father, 
and confessed his many sins to him. "Oh, father, 
I have been so stubborn, strong-headed and 


self-willed. I have disobeyed you so often. Will 
you forgive me, father?" The father assured 
him he had nothing hard against him in his 
mind, but if he had done anything ill, he had 
forgiven him long ago. He then burst forth in 
expressions of gratitude to God for such a 
father. In speaking about himself he expressed 
deep humility, and his utter unworthiness of any 
of the least of God's mercies. " Oh, the love of 
God," he said, " Christ dying for sinners, poor 
lost sinners, Christ dying for worms ! What an 
ocean of love is seen here. May we all, blessed 
Saviour, be drinking largely out of this ocean 
which is free to the vilest sinner." 

Observing his sister standing beside the bed, 
he said : " Oh, sister, do not rest one moment 
satisfied without a real union with Christ. I do 
not know but that you knew Jesus long before 
I did ; but do not rest until you are sure of a 
real union a lasting union existing between your 
soul and Christ. Do not rest satisfied with an 
outward confession of sins, but may the blessed 
work of the Spirit be carried on to perfection 
within your soul. Walk in the ways of love, 


joy, peace, long-suffering, meekness, holiness and 
truth, for these are the fruits of the Spirit." 

At another time he spoke to his sister Tena 
alone, and said : " Remember, dear sister, that in 
times of prosperity you need to be very watch- 
ful. You are very apt then to set your heart on 
the things of time and sense. You are apt to 
be allured from the straight and narrow path, 
and to forget your God. You require more 
grace at such times to keep your heart. Do not 
let anything here have the room in your heart 
that Christ should have. I believe God will be 
with you, and keep you, and preserve you. I 
trust you are united to the Lord Jesus Christ by 
living faith, and that He will never leave 
you, nor forsake you." 

At another time, speaking about growth in 
grace, he said : " I believe decidedly we ought to 
be making progress in the divine life every day 
we live. We ought to be getting closer to God 
in love and likeness every day." He then 
repeated the verse : " Nearer, my God, to Thee." 

He often mourned over how little he had 
done for Jesus. On one of these occasions, he 


said : " Have we not enlisted as soldiers under 
thy banner, the blood-red banner of King 
Emanuel, and should we not be doing some- 
thing? Is it possible that there is one idle 
soldier in the army ? There are precious souls 
perishing around us, and so many millions 
throughout the world. Should we not try to 
rescue the perishing? We have even many 
friends and relatives who are far from Christ. 
Let us speak to them lovingly, and try to win 
them by love that we may give them no 

On one occasion he repeated a verse that his 
cousin John gave him, and seemed to be greatly 
pleased with it. It was Ps. xliii. 5 : " Why art 
thou cast down, O my soul ? And why art thou 
disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I 
shall yet praise him, who is the health of my 
countenance, and my God." 

" John gave me that verse," said he. He then 
prayed for him, and afterwards for all the family, 
that God would bless them, and make them a 
blessing to others. He spoke some time about 
, who had infidel views. " Oh," he said, " he 


has such good natural qualities ; he seems to be 
so meek, kind and agreeable ; I feel so sorry 
that he should hold such views. To live without 
God and die without hope is too awful to think 
of. I often thought I would write him a letter, 
but I could never get courage to do so. I hope 
he may yet be brought into a knowledge of the 
truth. May God bless all the family." 

Seeing his brothers and sisters standing 
around him weeping, he exclaimed : " Do not 
shed a tear for me. I love you all ; you are so 
good to me, but I would rather depart and be 
with Christ, which is far better than to remain 
with the nearest and dearest friends here. Our 
light afflictions are but for a moment, and work 
out for us an exceeding and eternal weight of 

He often prayed for patience to bear his 
trouble, and to be resigned to the will of God. 
On one occasion he said : " I pray not that thou 
wouldst take me out of this affliction, but that 
thou wouldst give me grace that I may bear it 
patiently." Again he said : " For my part I 
would rather go, but for your sakes 1 would like 


to stay." He then gave some reasons for wish- 
ing to go, enumerating a list of the qualities of 
this earth, and also a list of the qualities of the 
"home over there," and told his friends to 
contrast the two. 

Speaking to his father about faith in God, he 
said : " Would it not be dishonoring to you, if I 
would not believe you? It would be mean and 
unworthy. So it must be very dishonoring to 
God not to believe what He says. I do think 
unbelief is the great sin." 

At one time he repeated very emphatically : " I 
would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my 
God than dwell in the tents of sin for a season," 
and then, as if addressing David, he said: "Well 
might you say that, David. I would rather be 
a doorkeeper in the house of my God than 
dwell in the palaces of sin." 

On another occasion he repeated the first 
verse of the thirteenth chapter of Zechariah, and 
asked : " What did the clause ' To the house of 
David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem' 
mean?" It was explained to him that this 
indicated provision made in Christ for the king 


and for the common people, high and lo\v, rich 
and poor. He was greatly pleased with the 
explanation, and requested that the whole 
chapter be read to him. 

To his aunt, who was attending him, and to 
whom he many times expressed his gratitude 
for her great kindness, he remarked that she 
looked so much like his dear mother, who had 
died two years before, and then added : "Auntie, 
is it not right that we should use every means 
in our power to induce our friends and relatives 
who are far from Christ, to come to Him ?" 

" Oh, Tena," said he to his sister, " what an 
awful thing it will be if even one of our family 
will be lost in the great day." 

As the end drew near the pearly gate seemed 
to stand ajar, and he had a transporting vision 
of the Golden City. " Oh, the glory ! " he ex- 
claimed, "of the heavenly land. It passes our 
finite comprehension. The great things that 
God hath prepared for us, eye hath not seen nor 
ear heard, nor mind conceived, but," continued 
he, his countenance glowing with celestial 
radiance, " these things are not unknown to us 


even here, for God hath revealed them to us by 
His Spirit" 

Of few are the following lines more descrip- 
tive than of George Mackay : 

"E'er since, by faith, I saw the stream 

Thy flowing wounds supply, 
Redeeming love has been my theme, 
And shall be till I die. 

"Then in a nobler, sweeter song, 

I'll sing Thy power to save, 
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue 
Lies silent in the grave." 




A ZORRA boy who dearly loves the old town- 
ship, and whose great delight it is royally to 
entertain any of its people who give him the 
opportunity, is Mr. Thomas Adams, of Detroit. 
In a recent letter to the writer, he says : " The 
impressions made upon my young mind during 
the years I spent in Zorra, by contact with the 
practical, persevering, industrious and self-deny- 
ing character of the people of that time, have 
been my ideal through life ; and to my Zorra 
education I attribute in great measure what 
success I have attained. Young men, whether 
remaining in their Zorra homes, or casting their 
lot in strange lands, will commit no mistake 
in making Zorra ethics of the forties their 


5 65 


Providence has been kind to Mr. Adams, en- 
trusting him with a large amount of this world's 
goods, and seldom has wealth been committed 
to more worthy hands. A total abstainer, in- 
dustrious, thrifty and God-fearing, success in 
business was assured him from the start. At 
first he worked for a time in Col. Dent's distil- 
lery, Embro ; bub he soon concluded that 
making whiskey was not the work for him. 

The event that brought him to this conclu- 
sion is worthy of note. A companion and fel- 
low-worker had recently moved from the dis- 
tillery in Embro to that in Stratford. One 
morning he was found dead under circumstances 
that clearly indicated that he fell a victim to 
strong drink. Notice of his death reached 
Embro on Saturday, and he was to be buried 
the following Sunday. Thomas Adams, along 
with John Cody, Michael and Edward Brophy, 
and a few other young men, started early Sun- 
day morning and walked from Embro to Strat- 
ford and back, thirty-two miles, in order to 
attend the funeral. The funeral service was 
conducted by the late Rev. Thomas McPherson, 


who took occasion faithfully to admonish his 
hearers against intemperance, and quoted the 
scripture warning, " No drunkard shall inherit 
the kingdom of God." The sermon was a 
searching one, and together with the mournful 
occasion, made a deep impression on the minds 
of the young men from Embro. " On the way 
home," says Mr. Adams, " we discussed the 
whole matter, and some of us pledged ourselves 
to have nothing more to do either with the 
making or selling of whiskey. This determina- 
tion in no small degree shaped my future career. 
Next day I informed my master that I was 
leaving the whiskey business. He tried hard to 
laugh me out of such a ' foolish notion,' as he 
called it ; but he did not succeed, and to my 
firm decision on that occasion I trace, in a large 
measure, my success in life." 

Leaving Embro, he went to Buffalo, where he 
worked as a day laborer. His wages were very 
small, but from the first he determined to lay 
aside a little for the rainy day an example to 
the young men of to-day. 

From Buffalo he went to Detroit, where he 


apprenticed himself to a brass-founder, named 
Silas N. Kendrick. Mr. Kendrick was a man of 
generous spirit, and the relation between master 
and servant was a peculiarly happy one. Mr. 
Adams writes : " My apprenticeship agreement 
with him was for forty cents a day for the first 
year, sixty cents per day for the second, and 
seventy-five cents for the third. The second 
month of the first year I was paid fifty cents per 
day to the end of that year, at which time I re- 
minded Mr. Kendrick of the beginning of the 
second year, expecting to be paid the sixty cents, 
according to the original agreement. He replied, 
' After working hours this evening, come to the 
office.' I expected to get a good fatherly talk- 
ing to as well as the sixty cents per day. Well, 
I got the first, after which he said : ' Thomas, 
how much do you think you are worth to me ? ' 
I replied, ' I wish I was worth one dollar a day 
to you.' After a few moments of silence the 
cheering reply came, ' Thomas, you are worth it, 
and you shall be paid it.' That moment," 
continues Mr. Adams, " inspired me with richer 
feelings than any event of subsequent years." 


Well would it be to-day if all masters and 
servants practised the golden rule like Kendrick 
and Adams. 

Having served his apprenticeship, Mr. Adams 
continued to work with Mr. Kendrick as a 
journeyman until he was, through his industry 
and thrift, in a position to start in business for 

Selling out the brass works, he, with two 
others, purchased an interest in a sailing vessel. 

Then as financial conditions justified, the 
company went on, purchasing and building, until 
their fleet consisted of nine steam and sail crafts, 
sailing between Duluth and Cleveland, Buffalo, 
etc. At present Mr. Adams is sole owner of the 
steamship Adams, capable of carrying one hun- 
dred thousand bushels of corn, or three thousand 
tons of ore or coal, and the contract building 
price of which was $132,000. 

Mr. Adams has a retentive memory, and he 
delights to relate the incidents and experiences 
of " Auld Lang Syne," some of which we will 
here give. Speaking of the kind, self-sacrificing 
spirit which so generally characterized the 


pioneer fathers, he says : " No one could be 
more earnest in that direction than Mr. J. Cody, 
father of Mr. E. Cody, of Embro, who, when the 
village doctor refused to personally administer 
relief to cholera-stricken sufferers, did all that 
lay in his power for them, knowing well the 
danger involved. The exposure resulted in his 
death ; he laid down his life for others. He was 
as great a hero, and showed as much moral 
courage, as any Canadian lad whose blood has 
drenched African soil." 

Mr. Mervin Cody, brother of John Cody, now 
living near Sarnia, in the eighty-fifth year of his 
age, enjoying the calm evening of a religious 
life, forms a link connecting the present and the 
past Zorra. " Some few years ago he favored 
me," says Mr. Adams, " with a social call. Our 
conversation turned upon those of Embro who 
had gone to their eternal rest. In our minds we 
started on a walk through Commissioner Street, 
which was then, in 1844, a ^ there was of the 
village. Beginning at Mr. Laycock's mill, we 
questioned ourselves about as follows : ' Where 
was Mr. Laycock ? ' Answer, ' Dead.' ' Where 


was Therorr Hallock ? ' Answer, ' Dead.' And 
so on through the street. Asa Saunder, John 
D. Dent, John Cody, Donald Mackay, Mr. Rust, 
big and little Angus Mackay, Walsh, Taft, 
Gordon, John Mackay, Young and others whom 
I cannot now call to mind, all dead ; very few 
of that period now remain. 

" Boys then, as now, were sometimes unmind- 
ful of the exclusive rights of owners to their own 
melon patches. That indiscrimination led to a 
raid by some Embro boys on a bright moon- 
light night, about eleven o'clock, on Mr. Mervin 
Cody's melon patch, near the barn. Just as 
they were about to help themselves to the 
melons a dim light was seen in the barn. Sub- 
sequently a voice was heard in prayer. The 
boys scampered and remained hid in and behind 
the shed, until Mr. Cody had gone from the barn 
to the house. A consultation was then held by 
the boys, with the resolve that Mr. Cody's 
melons, under the circumstances, were not the 
kind of melons they wanted, and they returned 
to Embro, not with the melons, but with a good 
lesson that in after years, I am constrained to 


think, bore good fruit A few weeks after the 
attempted raid, Mr. Cody was in Embro. On 
learning this the boys in a body met him in his 
brother's blacksmith shop, all feeling guilty, and 
related to him the whole episode. In his good 
nature he had a hearty laugh over it, and gave 
the boys a little wholesome advice, telling them 
that they were welcome to go in the day time 
and help themselves to his melons or to the 
fruit in his orchard." 




THE educational power of fine painting is very 
great. One of the earliest and most lasting im- 
pressions of the writer's life was from the read- 
ing of the story of the artist and his two pictures. 
One day, so the story ran, as the artist was 
abroad, he saw a very beautiful child, and for 
fear that he might never again see so lovely a 
face, he at once painted its portrait. This pic- 
ture he hung up in his study, and the beautiful 
countenance cheered him in his work, as from 
day to day he delighted to gaze upon it. He 
resolved that if ever he had the opportunity he 
would paint its opposite, and hang the two pic- 
tures side by side by way of contrast. For a 
long time he could find no face ugly enough, 


but at last he found it in a hardened wretch con- 
fined for life in a prison cell. There in his gallery 
hung the pictures ; the one a lovely innocent 
child, the other a hardened, profligate criminal. 
Imagine the painter's astonishment when he 
learned that the two pictures were of the same 
person. Vice had transformed the innocent 
child into the hardened criminal. The lesson 
was not lost upon me, and I remember well how 
the description impressed my youthful mind 
with the awful possibility for good or evil that 
lies before every young person. 

Recently I spent a delightful hour in the art 
gallery of a Zorra boy, and the following lines 
are written with the hope that they may be 
interesting and helpful to my young readers. 

Perhaps no finer collection of original paint- 
ings is possessed by any private individual in 
the province than that of which George N. 
Matheson, of Sarnia, is the happy possessor. 
This collection is very valuable, and it has re- 
ceived flattering notices from the press of both 
Canada and the United States, and from many 
prominent artists and art dealers. 


Mr. Matheson is a son of the late Mr. Donald 
Matheson, of Embro, who for many years repre- 
sented the County of Oxford in the Dominion 
Parliament, and the son is characterized by the 
same suavity of manner that so distinguished 
his honored father. He has been for many years 
collector of customs in Sarnia, and two large 
rooms of the customs building are devoted to 
his collection of paintings. 

Calling on him, I was received with that 
cordiality with which one Zorra boy always 
receives another. Having talked over old 
times, I expressed a desire to see his collection 
of the fine arts. He was delighted to comply 
with my request. Entering the room, the first 
thing to attract the attention is an original paint- 
ing by Byron Webb, its size being seven by 
five feet. It exhibits a mountain scene with 
a stag and some Scotch deerhounds. Just 
opposite this picture, on the other side of the 
room, is an Italian scene, by Claude Lorraine. 
The frame of this picture alone cost two hundred 
and fifty dollars. At the end of the room is a 
painting thought to be the work of the great 


Rubens, entitled "The Discomfiture of Achilles." 
It is a magnificent representation of the well- 
known classical romance in which Achilles, in 
the disguise of a female, seeks to interview the 
ladies of the Court of Lycomedes, King of the 
Scyros. Lycomedes suspects his guest, and sets 
a trap to catch Achilles. He puts in one part 
of the room a basket filled with the most 
beautiful jewelry, beads, bracelets, rings, etc. 
Near by he places a warrior's helmet, and then 
watches which would attract the attention of his 
guest. The picture represents Achilles paying 
no attention to the gew-gaws, but greatly 
interested in the helmet. Thus he gave himself 
away, and thus the old writer, as well as the 
painter, teach us that male and female differed 
in their tastes three thousand years ago much as 
they do to-day. 

Lying on a table in this room is a folio of 
immense proportions, being no less than 33 by 
23 inches. It was published in 1790, and con- 
tains a large number of pictures by Royal 
Academy artists, illustrating scenes in Shake- 
speare. The author's name is Boydell. Along- 


side this lie the complete works of Hogarth. 
This artist was born in 1697, and his works con- 
sist of a great variety of engravings representing 
life under different aspects. One that especially 
struck me was a series of paintings representing 
the various steps in the downward career of a 
beautiful country girl. She came to the city 
blooming and beautiful as a fragrant rose ; but 
yielding to temptation, she sank lower and 
lower, till her emblem became, not the rose in its 
fragrant beauty, but the flower as it sometimes 
clings to its stem after the autumn frosts have 
done their work decayed, putrid and loath- 

" Mr. Matheson," I asked, " what started you 
in the line of fine arts ? " 

" Well," was the smiling reply, " I think I was 
born with some taste for the old and the beauti- 
ful ; but it was a mere accident that led to the 
development of that taste that now, alone in old 
age, furnishes me so much enjoyment. I was 
living in Sandwich, and wished to get a watch- 
chain of a special design. I called at one of the 
jewellers' shops and told them what I wanted. 


The man informed me that there were no chains 
of that pattern manufactured, and the only man 
he knew who could make one was a jeweller 
named Thomas Miles, who lived at Port Huron. 
One day, being in Port Huron, I saw this man's 
sign, walked in, and met a little old Irishman, 
who had at one time been a court jeweller. 
Then and there began a friendship that lasted 
till death " did us part." The old man was a 
connoisseur in arts, and the possessor of a fine 
lot of pictures." 

Here Mr. Matheson, with all the glowing en- 
thusiasm of the ancestral Highlander, exhibited 
to me his family crest, wrought out of solid gold 
by the little Irishman of Port Huron. It con- 
sisted of a cock perched on a pedestal, richly 
draped, and attached to a long pin, all of solid 
gold. On the pedestal is inscribed the family 
motto, " Face et spera " (Work and hope). 

Looking towards a quiet part of the room my 
eye rested on the beautiful picture of her who, 
for the short period of nine years, shared with 
Mr. Matheson the joys and sorrows of life. Her 
memory is still cherished and her elevating in- 
fluence still felt. 


George N. Matheson was born in Embro in 
1835. In the eighteenth year of his age he left 
home for Hamilton to see Mr. Brydges, in order 
to get a situation on the G. W. Railway. " I 
went," he says, "by the last stage that ever 
drove between Woodstock and Hamilton ; I 
returned by train, and I sold the first railway 
ticket ever sold in Woodstock." In 1856 he 
entered the customs in Paris, thence he was pro- 
moted to Woodstock and Point Edward. Since 
1874 he has occupied his present position of 
great trust and responsibility. 

His memory of boyhood days in Zorra is 
vivid. He loves to talk of old neighbors and 
friends the Guns, the Gordons, the Hodgkin- 
sons, the Youngs, the Kennedys and the Con- 

He speaks of the late Rev. Mr. Mackenzie in 
terms of the warmest affection. " I have heard," 
said he, " of my old pastor being charged with 
neglecting the spiritual interests of the young ; 
but there is no truth in the charge. 

" Well do I remember the little log building 
where the Sabbath School was held, and where 


Mr. Mackenzie taught me the catechism. Dur- 
ing the summer months, every Sabbath evening, 
Mr. Mackenzie taught a Bible-class in the 

Mr. Matheson speaks kindly even of his old 
public school teachers John Cameron, Lachlan 
Macpherson, Nicholson, and John Ross. "These 
men were stern, and made a liberal use of burnt 
leather ; but they and others thought they were 
doing their duty. The age was a stern one. 
Soldiers were whipped in the army, prisoners in 
the jails, children in their homes, and why 
should they not be in the school ? I got many 
a sound thrashing, but I cherish no ill-will to the 
thrasher. He was faithfully doing that for 
which he was paid, and perhaps it did me good. 
It was a part of my early discipline." 




THE career of Donald Mackay affords us a 
fine illustration of a Christian man retaining his 
integrity even in politics. " Politics," says one, 
" are so corrupt you cannot touch them without 
being defiled ; better have nothing to do with 
them." But such reasoning is neither Christian 
nor courageous. A Christian can be a Christian 
anywhere, and so long as politics are necessary 
to the maintenance of the State, it is the duty of 
the Christian to take part in them ; Joseph 
remained pure amid the defilements of Egypt ; 
Daniel maintained his integrity and lived a 
noble and honored life amid the debasements 
which surrounded him in the Babylonian court ; 
Obadiah feared the Lord greatly, and lived a life 
6 81 


of purity and virtue, though surrounded by in- 
fluences as corrupting as ever encompassed any 
man ; Manaen, though he had in his boyhood as 
his companion one of the Herods, those mon- 
sters of iniquity, yet arose to be an honored 
teacher in the church at Antioch; uncongenial as 
was the atmosphere in Caesar's household to the 
cultivation of Christian character, still saints 
were to be found there. 

The late C. H. Spurgeon says : " The fact is, 
a certain class of men love to be quiet, and are 
ready to sell their country to the evil one him- 
self, so that they may live at ease and make no 
enemies. They have not the manliness to plead 
for the right, for it might cost them a customer 
or a friend, and so they profess a superior holi- 
ness as a reason for skulking." 

If politics have become shamefully corrupt, 
does it follow that the cultured, the refined, the 
godly are justified in holding themselves entirely 
aloof, and thus make an increase in corruption 
not only possible, but certain ? Shall we hand 
the government of the country over to the devil, 
and then complain that he does not run it on 


religious principles ? Patriotism as well as piety 
forbids such action. 

The young men of Canada have great respon- 
sibilites as well as possibilities before them. 
Our Dominion has certainly entered upon a new 
era of progress and development. We regard 
ourselves no longer a separate colony of a few 
million people, but a part of a great empire 
which includes one-fourth pf the earth's inhabi- 

A new spirit is taking possession of the peo- 
ple. Politics must be regarded not as something 
outside the sphere of religion, but as a part a 
very important part of a Christian's activity. 
Christianity must be regarded, not as a mere 
effort to save one's own soul, but as a daily 
endeavor to build up a community in which 
the souls of all will thrive in the common air of 
truth, justice, morality and virtue. Young men 
of Canada, be it your ambition to share this 
higher patriotism, to be baptized into this new 
spirit, that you may be prepared for the century 
of enlarged hope about to dawn upon us. You will 
become real men just as you learn to ask, not 


what is popular, but what is right ; not what 
others do, but what you ought to do ; not how 
easily we can get through life, but how right- 
eously. In developing such a manhood the career 
of Hon. Donald Mackay will be very helpful to 

Donald Mackay was born on the seventh line, 
West Zorra, in the year 1842. His father and 
mother moved from Sutherlandshire to Zorra 
in 1830. Here they raised a family of ten 
children seven sons and three daughters of 
whom nine are still living. 

Having learned the plasterer's trade, Donald 
left home in the twenty-third year of his age, 
and went to San Francisco, where he worked six 
months at his calling. After this he moved to 
Portland, Oregon, where he still lives. Until 
1890 he was known in Portland only as an in- 
dustrious and honorable contractor and a suc- 
cessful man of business. In this year he em- 
barked in the lumber trade, and thus set out on 
a career of wonderful prosperity and usefulness., 
He is now president and treasurer of the North 
Pacific Lumber Company, the largest plant of 


the kind in the State of Oregon, having a capital 
of $400,000. His son is secretary and assistant 
manager. Besides the local trade, this company 
ships to China, Japan, Siberia and the west 
coast of South America. 

The writer is not sufficiently acquainted with 
Masonry to pronounce an opinion upon it, but 
to those who are acquainted with the mysteries 
of that society, I may say that Donald Mackay 
has taken all the degrees, and at present repre- 
sents the Grand Lodge and Grand Chapter of 
Canada in the west. 

In 1888 he was elected a member of the State 
Senate, and still continues in this honorable 

Mr. Mackay says : " In early days my religious 
life was developed through the means of my 
minister, the Rev. D. Mackenzie ; my public 
school teacher, Mr. James Yool ; my Sunday 
school teacher, Mr. Joshua Youngs ; and, more 
than all, through the influence of a godly, pray- 
ing mother, and amid what some would call un- 
favorable surroundings, these early religious 
convictions I still fondly cherish." 


Speaking of his public career, Mr. Mackay 
says : 

" In this part of the country the political con- 
trol gradually drifted into the hands of the selfish 
and irreligious. Trickery and corruption took 
the place of statesmanship and patriotism, until 
the term politician had become one of reproach. 

" To many the task of purifying the body- 
politic seemed hopeless, but to those who had 
studied closely the practical working of politics, 
nothing seemed clearer than that the hope of 
the State lay in the purification of political life 
through good men realizing the duties of 
Christian citizenship. For many years I have 
felt, with ever-increasing conviction, that true 
Christianity, like the sap of a tree, runs through 
every branch and twig and leaf of a man's 
character, and sanctifies all ; and my humble 
effort has been, in State and Church, to promote 
that which tends to righteousness in the com- 
munity, and to restrain and put down that 
which is hurtful and evil. Great Britain and 
the United States will flourish, not in proportion 
to the strength of their armies or navies, but 


just as their policy and administration are 
founded upon righteousness ; to secure this 
righteousness Christian people must awaken, 
and make their influence felt. 

" The responsibility for the present disgraceful 
condition of affairs rests with those who, with 
superior airs of sanctity, preserve their purity by 
' keeping out of politics.' Multitudes of religious 
professors regard their religion as they do their 
Sunday clothes, too fine for everyday wear ; 
instead of remembering that it is to be used as 
an armor in the daily battle of life. 

" To-day we need more of the noble fire and 
living faith of the old Covenanters, who were in 
the world and yet not of it, willing to shed their 
life blood for the social and political welfare. 
In no department of his life can the man of 
integrity and religious conviction shine with 
greater lustre than in the field of Christian 

Although Senator Mackay is now a matured 
politician, he is noted as a man of quiet and 
peaceable disposition. 

The story is told that on one occasion a 


gentleman from Portland was travelling in a 
distant part of the country, when he accident- 
ally met Mr. Walter Mackay, a brother of the 
Senator. In the course of conversation Mr. W. 
Mackay soon learned that his fellow-traveller 
was from Portland, and the following conversa- 
tion ensued : 

" Are you from Portland ? " 

" I am." 

" Do you know Senator Mackay, of that 
place ? " 

" I do, and a good Christian gentleman he is." 

" I did not use to think so ; he and I have 
had many a spat." 

"If so, it must have been your fault, for 
Senator Mackay wouldn't quarrel with any 
decent man." 

" Decent ! Humph ! He allowed his mother 
for years to do my washing." 

Here the Portland man struck a belligerent 
attitude, and angrily asked : 

" What do you mean, sir ? " 

" Oh," smilingly responded Mr. Mackay, " I 
only mean that Senator Mackay 's mother was 
my mother." 




THE career of James Eraser, President of the 
Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, England, 
is fitted to inspire every young man to make the 
most of himself. Born of pious, industrious 
parents, and reared under Christian influences, 
he early dedicated himself to God, and from 
that day a holy ambition fired his soul, and his 
life has been onward and upward, until to-day 
he occupies one of the highest positions ever won 
by a Canadian, or by any colonist in England. 
The object of this sketch is briefly to indicate 
the steps by which he rose. 

James Eraser was born on November 6th, 
1846, on lot 9, concession 10, East Zorra. He is 
the eldest son of Captain William and Jane 


Eraser (nte Mackay). His father is still living, 
enjoying good health at the age of eighty-five, 
and has been for many years an esteemed elder 
in Chalmers Church, Woodstock. Like Timothy 
of old, Dr. Fraser owes much to his mother and 
paternal grandmother. If ever the history of 
the famous women of Zorra should be written, 
Mrs. Fraser, sen., will occupy a prominent place 
in it. 

Of his parents Dr. Fraser says : " I would be 
less than grateful if I did not acknowledge my 
indebtedness to my father and mother. They 
denied themselves very much to educate their 
children, and did all that parental love could 
suggest, or their circumstances permit, to equip 
us for the battle of life. When I was struggling 
hard during the first few years in England, few 
things gave me greater courage under disap- 
pointment than the consciousness of their never- 
failing sympathy. I always felt that if no per- 
son else appreciated my efforts, they did. My 
old home in Zorra is to me one of the dearest 
spots in the world, and to send some little token 
of my affection there from time to time is my 
purest pleasure." 


His happy English surroundings have in no 
way diminished Dr. Eraser's attachment to the 
district where first he saw the light. A Zorra 
man who visited his charming English home 
relates that on the plate glass over the front door 
are inscribed in letters of gold the one word, 
" Embro," and, true to his Highland ancestry, 
he calls his home " Dornoch." 

Of his early teachers he says : " The one who 
helped me most, and made the deepest impres- 
sion on my mind, was Mr. John Shaw. He 
took a great interest in his work, and boys who 
really tried made good progress under 'his 

Some of his school-fellows he mentions and 
characterizes as follows : " The Wood boys, who 
were very kind and generous ; the Griffiths, so 
friendly ; Sandy Mackay (Captain), who never 
stooped to anything mean ; my uncle, Robert 
Mackay, whose progress at school was alike 
creditable to himself and his teachers ; Billy 
Bruce, so full of fun and mischief; George L. 
Mackay, whose impulsive nature has since been 
so wonderfully consecrated and utilized in the 


Master's service ; James Sutherland, now a 
minister of the Canadian Cabinet, whose tena- 
c ity of purpose I have good reason to remember ; 
last, but not least, my brother William, now in 
heaven, between whom and myself existed, yea, 
and still exists, the strongest bond of affection. 
His was a promising career, but it was cut short 
His last letter to me is my most cherished pos- 
session. In it he expresses much concern for 
the salvation of those about him." 

Among his early pastors he mentions the 
Revs. D. Mackenzie, D. Allen and John Fraser. 
The preaching of the latter he greatly enjoyed. 
Of them all he says : " They aroused me, but as 
yet I had no peace. My father wisely allowed 
me to go to Woodstock and hear Dr. McMullen 
as often as I liked, when the rest of the family 
drove to Embro. I walked by myself to Knox 
church. I remember distinctly when coming 
home from church, I used to cut corners by 
walking through the fields and woods, and would 
sit down and rest under a tree, the while think- 
ing of what the preacher had said, and refreshing 
my memory from notes I had taken. I would 


then kneel down and pray for help. What a 
precious time this was to me! It was God's 
light coming gently into the darkness of a 
human soul. Dr. McMullen helped me very 
much, and I am grateful to him to this day." 

To each of my young readers I would say, 
take a note of this part of James Fraser's ex- 
perience. Think of him on bended knee in the 
woods, at the root of that tree, pouring out his 
heart to God. This kept him pure, and made 
him strong, courageous, persevering. To-day 
many young people are always in a hurry and 
bustle, rushing from church to church, and from 
service to service, and seldom sit down to com- 
mune with their own hearts, and quietly to 
digest and take stock of their spiritual condition. 
The result is their religion is dwarfish, weak, un- 
satisfying. Spiritual prosperity largely depends 
on private communion with God. What ' the 
hidden root is to the leaf, fruit and flower, that 
private devotion is to the public man. He who 
knew what was in man said : " Enter into thy 
closet and shut the door." 

When about twenty years of age, James Fraser 


chose the veterinary profession as his calling. 
The Montreal Veterinary School, which was 
affiliated to McGill College, had just then begun 
its career. Mr. Fraser attended there for two 
sessions, taking physiology, chemistry, zoology, 
botany and geology with the medical students. 
The late Sir William Dawson was then in the 
zenith of his power. Mr. Fraser attended not 
only his scientific addresses during the week, 
but his Bible-class lectures every Sabbath after- 
noon ; thus his head and heart were simultan- 
eously trained. 

His experience after leaving Montreal I will 
give in his own graphic language : 

" I found that to obtain a thorough knowledge 
of my profession I must go either to London or 
Edinburgh. I chose the latter, which was then 
under the guidance of Principal Williams and 
an able staff of professors. With my father's 
consent I sailed from New York for Scotland 
on October I5th, 1868. I joined the senior class 
and found them far ahead of me, so I put my 
shoulder to the wheel with a vengeance, and 
worked day and night, for I could not afford to 


be plucked. At the end of the session came the 
much dreaded exams. Much to my surprise I 
came out one of the top three. The three were 
a Scotchman, an Irishman and a Canadian. We 
were recalled to be examined for the college 
prize. In that final struggle I was beaten. We 
stood as follows : First, the Scotchman ; second, 
the Canadian ; third, the Irishman. The winner 
and the third man both had one session longer 
at college than I. When I left the board 
room that day defeated, I confess I would have 
liked a cheer from Zorra. I took it for granted 
though, for I was sure if the Zorra lads had been 
there they would have thrown their bonnets in 
the air for their old comrade. 

" However, I was through, and that was 
enough for me. A word or two about Edin- 
burgh. I had little or no time when attending 
the classes for sight-seeing, except on Sabbath, 
and I felt tired with the week's work, and 
devoted that day to the purpose for which God 
appointed it. I usually attended the ministry 
of Dr. Thompson, but I heard also many other 
men of note, such as Dr. Candlish, Dr. Guthrie, 


Dr. Norman McLeod and Dean Ramsay. Here 
I often saw and once heard Prof. John Stuart 
Blackie speak. It was grand to see that fine 
old Scot walking along Princess Street. He 
seemed part of the city. Tall, lithe, erect, buoy- 
ant, with snow-white hair, his plaid about his 
shoulder in the old Scotch fashion, all made up 
a unique personality. 

" I would advise all Zorra boys to get his book 
on ' The Language and Literature of the Scot- 
tish Highlands.' After the exams I went to see 
many places of interest Arthur's Seat, the 
Calton Hill, the Castle, Holyrood, Assembly 
Hall, John Knox's house, etc. I have seen 
many cities since, but none equals Edinburgh for 
beauty. In addition to its fine streets and 
buildings, it is highly favored by Nature; the 
site is romantic. 

" The day after I received my diploma, Prin- 
cipal Williams offered me an appointment as 
assistant to a practitioner in England, and I 
thought it wise to accept. I confess I was not 
much use, for I had seen so little practice. How- 
ever, by keeping my eyes and ears open and my 


mouth shut, I managed to get along fairly well, 
although sorely pressed at times. My experi- 
ence with animals on my father's farm was a 
great help to me. 

" I crept along step by step, until after four 
years' time, a very lucrative practice was placed 
at my disposal. There was, however, one big 
difficulty I had not sufficient capital to pay for 
it or to conduct it after it was paid for. To get 
over this difficulty, I agreed with the vendor 
that I should serve him three months as assist- 
ant, intending to await the developments of the 
situation. At the expiration of the time I had 
so far gained his confidence that he consented 
to leave the larger part of the purchase money 
at interest, to be paid off in instalments. The 
way was now clear, and nothing remained but 
steady application to duty. 

" Horses of great value, some worth $100,000 
each, were placed under my care, and I had many 
a restless night, owing to serious illness among 
them. My clients included the Prince of Wales, 
the late Duke of Westminster, Lord Allington, 
Sir F. Johnston, Sir Richard Sutton, and many 


other wealthy and distinguished men. The 
work was all new to me, and I had to be very 
careful to avoid mistakes. Practitioners in the 
other branch of medicine bury their mistakes 
with their patients. Not so with us. Post- 
mortems have to be made there and then on 
our dead patients, and errors of judgment declare 
themselves with painful accuracy. To err is 
human, and no man should be blamed if he does 
his best and displays ordinary skill. The man 
of the world does not, however, take that view 
of it, and many a poor fellow who does his best 
suffers loss of reputation. 

" I was at this time working hard for the 
higher degree of my college. I got the fellow- 
ship in 1879. 

" All this time I was reading English litera- 
ture, and great was the pleasure it afforded me. 
My favorite authors were Ruskin, Carlyle, 
Froude, Green, Darwin, Huxley, Bain, Mill, John 
Morrow, George Eliot, George Macdonald, and 
kindred writers. My favorite poets were Whit- 
tier, Browning and Pollok. I was fortunate in 
having access to good libraries. 


"In 1891 I was elected member of the Council 
of the R.C.V.S., and in 1899 president, by the 
unanimous vote of the Council. This is the 
greatest honor of my life, and one that I highly 
appreciate. Last Christmas I presided over the 
examinations in Edinburgh, in the very room 
where I had the struggle for the college prize 
thirty years ago." 

I may mention that Dr. Fraser is also vice- 
president of the " Royal Institute of Public 
Health," England, and also vice-president of the 
British Institute of Preventive Medicine, of which 
the famous Lord Lister is president. 

Notwithstanding the many and heavy re- 
sponsibilities of his calling, Dr. Fraser has done 
much successful work of a religious character, 
especially as a teacher of a very large Bible- 

To the question, " To what do you attribute 
your success in life ? " Dr. Fraser replies : 

"To God and the exercise of the ordinary 
gifts with which He has endowed me. I gave 
Him my heart, and He graciously fulfilled in me 
every promise made to those who put their trust 


in Him. Money is of little value when troubles 
come, as come they must to all. I found Him 
to be always near, and oh! so gracious and 
kind. Friends are of great value, but God is 
best of all. 

" Some years ago I felt what I regarded as the 
foundation of belief slipping away from me. My 
mind was disturbed, restless, unsatisfied. I 
went to hear our best preachers and thinkers. 
Thomas Binney, known as the Bishop of Non- 
conformity ; Alex. Raleigh, a charming poet 
preacher ; R. W. Dale, who grasped his subject 
like a giant ; Alex. Maclaren, whose persuasive 
eloquence still moves multitudes ; Oswald Dykes, 
quiet, logical, convincing ; C. H. Spurgeon, 
original, practical and honest all these helped 
me greatly, each in his own way ; still I lacked 
something which I cannot define. 

" Relief came in a way and from a source I 
did not expect. George Macdonald's books 
accidentally (was it accidentally ?) fell in my way, 
and I devoured them as a hungry man eats 
food. I saw things in a different light, and I 
felt the ground solid again under me. Oh, the 


joy, after being tossed on the stormy sea of un- 
certainty, to feel that I was once more standing 
on the solid rock ! He preached occasionally 
in the suburbs of London, and I went whenever 
I could to hear him. I never heard the like be- 
fore or since. He conducts the service not on a 
fixed plan, but just as the circumstances dictate. 
His prayer no, it was not prayer in the ordin- 
ary sense, it was a man talking to God was a 
revelation to me, an opening of the door of 
heaven. He took those who wished into the 
divine presence. His preaching no, it was not 
preaching, it was a man talking to men threw 
a flood of light on whatever subject he had 
selected. I never knew how great and good 
God is till George Macdonald told me. 

" A few years after that he came to our house 
one evening, and took tea with my family. How 
delighted my wife and I were ! He was to 
deliver a lecture on 'King Lear' in a large church, 
of which I was at that time honorary secretary, 
and that was how it came about that I had the 
pleasure and honor of being his host. 

" If it would not be presumptuous to offer 


advice to any young lad who may read these 
words, I would say, ' Trust in God and do the 
right.' Remember, we are not sent here to 
make money, or even to be happy ; we are sent 
here, if I understand it, for the development of 
our character. Look at the incidents and cir- 
cumstances of your life, however untoward they 
may appear at times, as ministers sent to aid 
you in the accomplishment of this object. Look 
upon your fellowmen as those who need your 
support and, in some cases, your direction. 
Never forget that God is kind, and always feels 
kindly towards you. When you do wrong God 
is grieved, yet feels kindly, and desires you to do 
better. You will often be defeated, and perhaps 
fail in things you undertake, but don't lose 
heart. God never fails, nor will He fail you. 
Canon Kingsley said in his last hours, ' How 
beautiful God is ! ' Try and catch a glimpse of 
Him every day of your life, and then you will 
be getting like Him. 
" That will be success." 



IN the early winter of 1855 a sensation oc- 
curred in Zorra which some of my readers will 
remember. On the 2Oth lot, loth line, East 
Zorra, lived Paul Murray with his wife and 
family, at that time consisting of three sons and 
two daughters. Their house was one of the 
most commodious in the district, and apparently 
well adapted for a large gathering. So it was 
arranged to have the " catechizing " there, and 
on the Sabbath Rev. Mr. Mackenzie duly inti- 
mated the fact from the pulpit. The day ar- 
rived, and the Highlanders, men and women, old 
and young, from far and near, crowded into the 
place of meeting. The services began. The 
minister was engaged in prayer, when suddenly 


a loud crack was heard, and in another instant 
the floor gave way, going down in the centre, 
forming a concave, the shape of a mill-hopper. 
Those sitting on the outer row of seats escaped, 
as the floor broke off at their feet ; but the 
others, with the stove and pots of boiling water, 
went down. There was, as usual in those days, 
a large stone hearth, and on this, fortunately for 
themselves, Mr. Mackenzie and his elders were 
seated, and, of course, did not go down. Some 
were burned, some were scalded, but, wonderful 
to say, none seriously hurt. The rest of the 
catechizing took place in the house of James 
Sutherland. A number of the young men at once 
went to work, and before night new " sleepers " 
took the place of the old ones, and the damage 
was repaired. 

In 1829 Paul Murray settled in Zorra, being 
then in the eighteenth year of his age, and newly 
out from Sutherlandshire. Here he lived till 
1874, having as neighbors James Mackay, John 
Gilchrist, Benjamin Mclntosh, Sandy Suther- 
land, James Sutherland, William Ross, and 
Hugh Ross. He was a man of happy, hopeful 


disposition, of active habit and tireless perse- 

His career emphatically teaches what patient 
industry and intelligence can effect in over- 
coming obstacles that discourage and turn away 
the indolent and faint-hearted. With his own 
hand he cleared his bush farm, built his own 
house and barn, and planted what turned out to 
be a large and first-class orchard. He erected 
frame barns for not a few of his neighbors. He 
was also an expert in the use of the gun the 
Nimrod of the district. Deer, wild pigeons and 
foxes were the principal game, and fish were 
abundant. He is now in his ninetieth year, and 
still the proud possessor of the old Kentucky 
rifle with which he brought down many a stag 
in the early days, and which, as he delights to 
tell, he carried during his service to the Queen in 
'37. It is not too much to say that his equal 
with the gun has never been found in Zorra. 
His mantle has fallen on his son John, as the 
engraving which precedes this article indicates. 

In May, 1874, he and his family left Zorra 
and journeyed by New York, Panama, San 


Francisco, Victoria, New Westminster, and 
finally settled in Langley Prairie, B.C., where 
they have ever since resided. His farm in 
British Columbia was timber or bush land. On 
it grew some of the largest fir and cedar giants 
which are found anywhere in the Fraser valley 
a valley remarkable for the great size of its 
timber. As an instance of the immense size of 
some of those trees, it may be stated that Mr. 
Murray lived for several months in the hollow 
stump of a large cedar while he was building a 
house. But however acceptable the hollow 
stump was as a makeshift, and however suitable 
to the tastes and habits of ubiquitous and vora- 
cious mosquitoes, it was ill-adapted to protect a 
Christian man and his family from summer's 
heat and winter's cold. 

At this time Mr. Murray, though past the 
threescore line, was in the very vigor of man- 
hood. The nearest saw-mill was at New West- 
minster, sixteen miles distant. The road was of 
the most primitive kind. Horses and wagons 
were few and far between. Hauling of lumber, 
therefore, sufficient to build a house of such 


dimensions as Mr. Murray and his family re- 
quired, would have been a very costly and 
laborious undertaking. But here and now he 
reaped the benefit of his experience and training 
in Zorra. The new situation did not daunt him 
in the least. At the age of sixty-three he felled 
the big trees growing on his own land, hewed 
them into shapely logs, cut shingles and pre- 
pared rafters. In a short time a large, substan- 
tial, comfortable log-house stood on a rising 
ground, overlooking Langley Prairie, and near 
which was a perennial abundant spring of purest 
water. The house was worthy of the builder 
and of the material. " In it," writes a Presby- 
terian minister, " many a tired traveller from 
Sumas and Chilliwack, in the early days, found 
a cosy shelter, a clean bed, and a well-cooked 

Mr. Murray's third son, Alexander, was 
drowned in the Eraser River, in the twenty- 
sixth year of his age, when seeking to save 
a companion. He and two others were in a boat, 
when it -capsized. Mr. Murray, being an expert 
swimmer, succeeded in saving one, and returned 
to the rescue of the other, when both sank. 


During all his varied experiences and long 
travels, Paul Murray has seldom ever used saddle 
or buggy, preferring to do all his journeys on 
foot. In his ninetieth year he is hale and hearty, 
and any fine day you can see him walking 
through his orchard or doing small chores about 
the farm. The greater part of his time, how- 
ever, he spends in reading, without the aid of 
spectacles, his Gaelic Bible. He is truly a liv- 
ing epistle of Christ. 

In 1876 the members of the Presbyterian 
Church at Langley Prairie were asked to elect 
one of their number to act as elder. Paul 
Murray was their unanimous choice, and he was 
duly ordained to the sacred office. " He is," 
writes one, " a man of sterling integrity and rare 
worth ; a grand example of Scotch industry, 
perseverance and genuine piety." 

Such men may live in quietness and obscurity, 
but their influence is felt ; they belong to the 
Lord's nobility, and on the great day they shall 
be owned by the King. 



THE Fletcher family consisted of father, 
mother, four sons, and two daughters. They 
moved from St. Catharines into Zorra in 1841, 
and constituted the only family not Highland in 
the district. This peculiarity made them the 
object of much interest, and perhaps also commis- 
eration. In some respects, it must be confessed, 
they were considerably in advance of their Celtic 
neighbors they owned a lumber-wagon and a 
grindstone. The latter became a sort of com- 
mon property in the neighborhood, and was 
regarded as a great convenience by all except 
Jimmy Fletcher, the lad who was expected to 
turn it whenever a neighbor came to sharpen 


his knife, axe, or scythe. " I got," says he, 
" into the habit of disappearing very myster- 
iously on such occasions." 

The circumstances of this family were for 
some years straitened enough. While the 
father and two elder sons, Aaron and Israel, 
worked hard from dawn till dark, clearing the 
farm, Mrs. F., assisted by her two little girls, not 
only attended to the indoor work, but on her 
loom wove clothing for the neighbors till late 
every night, and thus greatly helped to support 
the family. " She wove so much for the neigh- 
bors," writes her son, " that she found little time 
to weave for us boys. My mother had a great 
faculty for making garments out of all sorts of 
materials. Joseph's coat of many colors was 
far outstripped by some of the coats we flour- 
ished in those days." 

By-and-by their condition became more com- 
fortable. A considerable part of the farm was 
cleared, and the crops were good. Cattle, sheep 
and hogs were abundant, and, finally, horses 
gladdened the eyes of the boys Never were 
boys more passionately fond of horses than the 


boys of the Fletcher family. " Riding on horse- 
back," says James, " was the delight of my young 
life, and for years I took a colt each winter to 
break in for some of our neighbors, and in this 
way provided myself with the means of con- 
veyance, while I taught singing-school in a num- 
ber of places throughout the township." 

A striking characteristic of the whole Fletcher 
family was their never-failing good humor ; they 
were brimful of fun. Joking, laughing, merry- 
making this is the picture I have of them after 
the lapse of nearly fifty years. Let no one under- 
estimate the value of a sunny, even merry, 
disposition. It may easily be overdone, but 
kept within moderate restraint it serves a most 
useful purpose in life. It certainly made the 
Fletchers very popular with their Highland 
neighbors. " They are always happy, and there 
is nothin' they'll no do for a body," was the 
opinion frequently expressed. 

"It is easy to smile and be pleasant 
When life flows by like a song ; 
But the man worth while 
Is the man who can smile 
When everything goes dead wrong." 


In this paper we will speak of only the two 
younger boys of this family, James and John, 
both of whom are still living. 

In his eighteenth year, Jimmy Fletcher, as he 
was familiarly called, began to teach. He 
taught school on the i6th line for one year. 

" I was full of ambition," he writes, "and de- 
termined to push myself to the front. I saved 
enough money the first year to enable me to 
take a course in grammar and mathematics, as 
far as required to obtain a first-class certificate." 

After this he taught the scnool on the pth 
line, where he himself had, a few years before, 
attended as a scholar, some of his old school- 
mates now becoming his pupils. The writer 
was one of these ; and I am free to say that a 
more clever, tactful teacher I never had. To a 
large extent he discarded the use of the taws 
and the many other foolish and cruel methods 
of punishment in vogue up to his time. He 
gave us his confidence, and we gave him ours, 
and never did teacher and scholars get along 
more harmoniously. The school-house was no 
longer a place of punishment, but the brightest 


spot in the district. Jimmy Fletcher was a 
good fiddler, and during the noon hour he would 
take down his fiddle and play, while the boys 
and girls would dance and whirl and whoop 
after the most approved Highland fashion. 
Hec. Ross, Hugh Anderson, John Sutherland 
and some more of the older boys helped the 
teacher supply the music. Thus the education 
of the heels and head went on concurrently for a 
time, until J. C, a trustee of ultra-Puritanical 
views, thought it was " na richt for young people 
to be sae thochtless," and as the spring was 
coming on, the bigger boys and girls left school, 
and so the dancing ceased. 

In 1864 James Fletcher went to the United 
States. His experience has been varied, and he 
has wrought at a variety of things, with more or 
less temporary success. "Pegging away," without 
thought of resting until the end is accomplished, 
is a quality in which James Fletcher does not 
excel. His achievements have been worthy, in 
some instances brilliant ; but he has accomplished 
far less than he otherwise would because of this 
lack of untiring, persistent effort in one direction. 


He is the author of a number of ingenious in- 
ventions, some of which have brought him con- 
siderable revenue, but only for a season. He 
still fondly remembers his old neighbors, chums 
and school-mates. Of Donald MacLeod, his 
nearest neighbor, he says : " To this day I can- 
not recall a man in all my varied experience 
that I think fully his equal in honesty of pur- 
pose and faithful loyalty to duty." Of James, 
the eldest son of Donald MacLeod, he writes : 
" So pure in heart, so lofty in aim, he was called 
to the better land while yet his sun had scarcely 
reached its zenith. I do not expect to ever see 
his like again." Angus MacLeod he also men- 
tions in terms of admiration. John Bruce, Alex. 
M. Sutherland, and the writer are still in his 
heart as well as in his memory. He closes his 
letter with the following words : " I have been 
over the world a great deal since the days of 
' Auld Lang Syne,' but I have nowhere met in 
one place such a number of strong, brainy and 
successful boys as were fashioned in my own 
little neighborhood on the 8th line of Zorra." 



John A. Fletcher, brother of James, was the 
wag of the district, always making fun or per- 
petrating some practical joke. I will not say 
that his humor was of the most cultured kind, 
but it was the natural product of his time and 
surroundings, and it did not a little to lighten 
the burdens and brighten the lives of the weary 
Zorra pioneers of fifty years ago. He saw only 
the sunny side of life, and if ever there was one 
who could extract sunbeams out of cucumbers, 
it was he. 

He is now a well-to-do farmer in Wexford, 
Mich., and seems still to retain some of his old- 
time humor. In a recent letter to the writer, he 
says : " The Fletcher family was, I think, the 
only non-Highland family in the school. Our 
ignorance of the Gaelic was regarded by our 
neighbors as a great misfortune, but something 
we ' couldna help,' so we were forgiven and very 
kindly treated. I look back with pride upon 
the Scotch laddies of that day, who in spite of 
early difficulties have pushed their way and 


climbed to eminence. The Fletcher boys did 
most of their climbing into apple trees, or in the 
woods after chipmunks. 

" As to myself," he modestly continues, " I 
was never afflicted with push, pluck, or perse- 
verance. My teachers tried hard to find in me 
the spring of learning in the same way that the 
pioneers used to try to locate a spring of water, 
viz., with a blue-beech rod ; but in vain. Fun 
was more to me than college life, and fun I had." 

"John Fletcher," shouted his teacher, "what 
are you doing reading?" " Na." "Writing?" 
"Na." "Ciphering?" " Na." "What then are 
you doing ? " " Just waiting till school gets out." 

John was not so strict an observer of the 
Sabbath as his Scotch neighbors, and tradition 
has it that one Sabbath afternoon he and two 
companions went out to the woods and killed 
no less than twenty-two chipmunks. There was 
in the neighborhood a stream of water over 
which there was a narrow foot-bridge. Over 
this bridge the people coming from church had 
to pass, and John Fletcher put the twenty-two 
slaughtered innocents on the centre of the little 


foot-bridge, and then from his concealment a 
little way off saw the antics and listened to the 
screams of the terrified women trying to pass. 

A friend who, along with three or four others, 
once accompanied John Fletcher for a whole 
day, in a wagon along a toll-road, relates how at 
each toll-gate, as the woman put out her hand 
to take the money, John would clasp it tenderly, 
and, with the most affectionate look on his face, 
inquire into the welfare of herself and family 
and friends. The thing was done so naturally 
that in no case was any offence taken, but in 
most cases he was thought to be some real 
though forgotten friend of the family. 

Some little distance from John Fletcher's 
home there lived a tombstone agent, more noted 
for his zeal in pushing his business than for 
tender regard for the feelings of recently be- 
reaved ones. South of Embro, about six or 
seven miles, there was a man who had just 
lost his wife not, however, by death, but by 
elopement. She had run away with a young 
neighbor. So John Fletcher thought of a practi- 
cal joke. He hied off to the residence of the 


tombstone man, and in the course of conversation 

asked him if he had heard that Mr. had lost 

his wife. " Has he ? I must go and see if I can- 
not sell him a tombstone." So off he went next 
morning. He found the bereaved husband plow- 
ing with his oxen in the field. To win confi- 
dence the agent did the plowing for some time, 
and then the following conversation ensued : 

Agent : " You've lost your wife, I understand?" 

Farmer : " Oh, yes, she's gone." 

Agent : " You'll want to erect a memorial 
stone for her ? " 

Farmer : " What ! Let the scoundrel who 
ran away with her put up a stone for her." 

It is needless to say that the tombstone man 
soon disappeared. John Fletcher did not call 
on him for a long, long time after this. 

Another illustration of John's practical jokes 
may here be given. A Methodist minister, by 
the name of Brown, was announced to give an 
address on " Missions " in the pth line school- 
house. As the Fletchers were the only Meth- 
odists in the neighborhood, the preacher, of 
course, stayed there. A missionary meeting was 


no ordinary affair in those days, and all, old and 
young, were sure to attend. The hope was ex- 
pressed that the collection would be a liberal 
one. James and John Fletcher became inter- 
ested in the missionary meeting, and a spirit of 
mischief prompted them to a very doubtful 
method of preparing themselves and others for 
the collection. They made a number of disks, 
about the size and appearance of the old English 
six-penny piece. A large quantity of these 
they distributed to the other boys of the neigh- 

The evening for the missionary meeting came. 
The school-house was but dimly lighted with 
a couple of candles. Rev. Mr. Brown spoke 
pathetically of the ignorance and degradation of 
the heathen, and made an eloquent plea for a 
liberal contribution. Then the hat was passed 
round by J. C., an aged Highlander, whose eye- 
sight was not too good. Soon the hat was liter- 
ally filled with a good silver (?) collection. 
Never before was such a large collection taken 
up in Zorra. 

That evening or next morning the preacher 


said nothing about the collection. Mrs. Fletcher, 
who was a devoted Methodist, was somewhat 
surprised at this, and at the breakfast table she 
ventured to congratulate the preacher on the 
good collection of the previous evening. She 
had seen the hat emptied two or three times, 
and was overjoyed. 

" Good collection, I'm sure," said Mrs. F. " Oh, 
no," was the reply, " poor collection ; just a few 
coppers and a lot of tin pieces which some boys 
put in." The truth at once dawned upon Mrs. 
Fletcher. She had noticed her boys the day be- 
fore fashioning the tin disks. " I am afraid," 
said she, " my boys did this. There they are, 
and talk to them." 

The preacher laid down his knife and fork 
and in a kindly way remonstrated with the boys 
for their conduct, but John Fletcher was, as 
usual, equal to the emergency. " Oh, pshaw," 
said he, " those pieces will pass among the 
heathen as well as any other." The missionary 
was so much amused at the answer that he 
laughed heartily. Mrs. Fletcher joined in the 
laugh, and this let the boys down easily. 




IN 1883 the Zorra boys abroad held a grand 
re-union in Embro. There were present pro- 
fessional men from all over the Dominion, and 
some from the United States. Many good 
stories were told and many thrilling experi- 
ences related. But I here venture the state- 
ment that had Hon. J. R. Sutherland, editor of 
the Burt County Herald, Nebraska, been there, 
the story of his life would have been at least 
equal in interest to anything heard on that oc- 
casion. It reads like a romance. 

I see him as, in August, 1865, he bids good- 
bye to father and mother, home and friends, 
and with grip in hand, and a few dollars in 
his pocket, strikes out for the wild West. He 


has heard of the demand for engineers and 
mechanics in that part of the world, and having 
taken a course in mechanical drawing in the 
Woodstock Grammar School, under the late 
Principal Strauchan, sets his face for Omaha. 
At that time Nebraska had few white settlers ; 
Indians predominated everywhere, and a mili- 
tary escort was necessary for the safety of the 
engineers. Buffalo, elk, antelope and deer 
abounded ; it was, indeed, a hunter's paradise. 

Mr. Sutherland has witnessed many blood- 
curdling scenes of riots, mobs, hanging by vigi- 
lant committees, etc. During the construction 
of the Union Pacific Railway, the crowds con- 
gregated along the works were perhaps as wild 
and lawless as any ever assembled on this con- 
tinent. But Mr. Sutherland's Zorra training was 
his safeguard. He was God-fearing, temperate, 
cautious, and attended to his own business. He 
says : " I never saw the place yet where, if a man 
would behave himself and abstain from drink, 
he would not get along all right, and even be 
thought more of by those who engaged in 
revelry. From my own experience, courteous 


conduct and a civil tongue are the best weap- 
ons a man ever carried." 

Senator Sutherland's success has been of the 
highest kind. While by energy, temperance 
and perseverance he has amassed a very com- 
fortable fortune, he has also done what is far 
better built up a Christian character that is 
respected and admired far and wide in that 
section of the country. 

In 1871 he was married at Tekamah, Neb., to 
Miss Mary Stuart Conger, a cousin to Conger, 
the United States Minister at Pekin, China. 
They lived for a time in a block-house, built by 
the Government to protect white settlers from 
the Indians. Miss Conger was a lady of culture 
and Christian training, and both she and her 
family were devoted Presbyterians. A Presby- 
terian congregation was started in Tekamah, 
consisting of eight members, seven of whom 
were Mr. Sutherland, his wife, with her father, 
mother and three sisters. Mrs. Sutherland was 
organist, Mr. Sutherland one of the trustees, and 
the congregation has gone on, till to-day it is 
the finest church organization, and has the best 
church building in the city. 


Mr. Sutherland has been to the front in every- 
thing that went to build up and develop Church 
or State. For twenty years he has served as a 
member of the city government. For the same 
length of time he has been a member of the 
School Board, and delights to tell how he has 
seen the school increase from one teacher with 
twenty pupils to ten teachers with five hundred 
scholars. He is a practical and skilful agricul- 
turist, and at the World's Fair, Chicago, won 
more awards for farm produce than all the rest 
of the State of Nebraska. 

In 1888, without solicitation on his part, he 
was nominated as the Republican candidate 
for State Senator ; and without any canvass 
was elected by over 1,000 majority. In this 
high position he made for himself an enviable 
record, in standing up for popular rights. He 
has occupied many positions of great responsi- 
bility, one of these being that of State Railroad 
Commissioner, at a salary of $2,000 per year. 
For some years he has been connected with 
newspaper work, and is at present editor of one 
of the leading weeklies of the West. His family 
consists of wife, two daughters, and one son. 


Senator Sutherland is greatly interested in 
Zorra affairs, and makes many inquiries about 
the old boys. His numerous Zorra friends are 
proud of their representative in Nebraska, and 
hope he may long be spared to show the good 
results of his early training as a youthful 
member of Chalmers Church, Woodstock, and 
his home training on porridge and the Shorter 



AMONG the very few early pioneers of Zorra 
still living is Mervin Cody, the subject of the 
present sketch. In his eighty-fifth year he 
is hale and hearty, enjoying the perfect use of all 
his faculties. He writes in a strong, bold hand, 
and expresses his thoughts in a clear, orderly 
manner, and with almost classical correctness. 
To no person does the writer owe so much for 
information regarding the earlier settlers, their 
trials and triumphs, as to Mervin Cody, concern- 
ing whose Christian character it may safely be 
asserted that no man stands higher in the esteem 
of the people of Zorra. to-day. 

He was born in New York State in the year 
1815. When four years of age he came with 



his parents to West Oxford, and at the age of 
nine that is, in March, 1824 he accompanied 
them to West Zorra, and settled on what is now 
well known as the "Cody homestead." Four 
years after this his father died, the care of the 
family and farm thus devolving largely on 
Mervin, only twelve years of age. His mother's 
maiden name was Phila Staples. She was a 
devoted Christian woman, and bravely bore the 
burdens of the pioneer widow. She died in 1878, 
in the eighty-fourth year of her age. 

The trials of those early times were neither 
few nor of a trifling character. There were no 
matches, and Mr. Cody writes : " One night the 
fire went out, and as we had no flint or spunk to 
strike a spark, I had to go nearly a mile, in a 
drizzling rain, through the woods to the nearest 
neighbor for fire, returning with a few coals 
between two pieces of stiff bark." 

Shoes were exceedingly scarce among the 
first pioneers. " I well remember," says Mr. 
Cody, " how, in the early twenties, many of the 
men and also women had to go barefoot during 
the summer. The children nearly all did." Of 


himself he says : " My father couldn't get shoes 
for all of us children sometimes till the winter 
would be half over, and we never thought of 
wearing shoes in warm weather. The lack of 
shoes, however, didn't bother us very much. 
Often we boys would run out and chase each 
other in the snow just for the fun of it. 

" One day a neighbor's pigs, about half a mile 
away, came along, and, barefooted as I was, I 
started after them. They ran home, and I chased 
them every step of the way. The snow was 
about a foot deep, and the day was cold, but I 
enjoyed the fun of chasing the pigs. I went into 
Mr. Dorman's to warm my feet, and Mrs. Dor- 
man, a kind, motherly woman, hunted up a pair 
of socks, and insisted on my wearing them 

" Late one fall a neighbor, Mr. William Land, 
went to mill barefoot, with oxen and sled, 
through the woods to where Ingersoll now stands, 
a distance of about six miles from home. He had 
to stay all night for his grist to be ready. In the 
morning there were several inches of snow on 
the ground. In this predicament what was a 


poor man to do ? Help came ; Charles Inger- 
soll, Esq., met the barefooted man, and in the 
kindness of his heart, gave him a pair of shoes 
and enabled him to return home in comfort." 

This custom of going barefoot, originating 
perhaps in necessity, continued long after the 
necessity passed away. As recently as the 
sixties, the writer remembers seeing women go- 
ing to church carrying their shoes on the arm till 
within a few hundred yards of the place of wor- 
ship. One dear old lady, while thus saving her 
shoes, stubbed her great toe against a stone so 
that it bled profusely, but the only complaint 
uttered was, " Oh, what a blessing that I hadna 
my new shoons on." 


A kind Providence, as if to compensate for 
the lack of other things to the early settlers, 
furnished them plentifully with fish. Before 
any dam was built across the Thames, fish 
(suckers and mullets) came up in the early 
spring in great numbers from Lake St. Clair, in 
all the branches of that river. During this time 


they afforded the settlers quite a supply of excel- 
lent food. The time of fishing was largely at 
night with a spear. The plan was somewhat 
unique. First, a torch was made of dry cedar 
split fine. A large handful of these splints, two 
or more feet long, bound together and set on 
fire, furnished a good supply of light. One car- 
rying the torch would enter the water and wade 
up stream. The light would attract the fish. 
The men with spears would follow, and many 
suckers would be caught. Then all would go 
back to the fire on the bank of the stream, and 
have a good social chat. Thus they waited 
a while till more fish would come up, and then 
repeat the game as before, time and again, till 
after midnight. In deep water the net was the 
best method of fishing. Fishing of this kind 
lasted in Zorra till about the year 1 840. 


There were many wolves in those days ; their 
howling was very terrifying, and farmers not 
infrequently suffered the loss of sheep, calves, 
and even cows, through them. In order to 


encourage their extermination, the Government 
allowed $6 for each scalp. I have before me as 
I write a pouch used in the twenties by Captain 
William Mackay for carrying wolf scalps. Captain 
Mackay was the tax-collector, and some of the 
farmers would pay their taxes with one or more 
scalps. This pouch was used by him for carry- 
ing the scalps from the farmer to the proper 
Government official. It is a rusty-looking relic 
of "ye olden time," made like a modern school- 
bag, and about the same size. The material is 
calfskin, tanned and dyed, lined with buckskin, 
and all waterproof. 

Catching a wolf was a great sensation. " My 
father," writes Mr. Cody, " kept a steel trap set 
for the purpose of catching wolves. This time 
it was just inside of a back field. Going down 
one morning I found the trap gone, and hastened 
back to report. My father was away from home, 
but two neighbors volunteered to help secure 
the wolf. It was going to be rare sport, and 
soon all the boys in the neighborhood were as- 
sembled to see the fun. The wolf hadn't gone 
far. The trap had got a good hold of one of his 


forefeet, and the heavy clog, which was attached 
to the trap, soon hitched him fast, so that he was 
quite secure. We, of course, wished to take him 
alive. For this purpose we secured a sapling 
with two branches at the top, which we trimmed 
and then twisted together in the form of a 
loop. Having the length of the sapling for a 
handle, we put the loop over the wolfs head and 
around its neck, partially choking the savage 
beast. With some prepared basswood bark we 
bound its jaws securely together, and also fas- 
tened its four feet. Then we took a pole, and 
putting it between the wolfs feet and its body, 
shouldered it, and carried the animal home, trap 
and all. It was a very large wolf, standing 
about two and a half feet high." In a few years 
the wolves seemed to have all disappeared. 

In 1844 Mervin Cody was married to Miss 
Mary Jane Vining, who for thirty-four years in 
a Christian manner shared with him the joys 
and sorrows of pioneer life in Zorra. Eleven 
children were born unto them, all of whom grew 
into manhood or womanhood, and eight of 
whom are still living. 


Mr. Cody's religious experience has ever been 
clear, decided, evangelical. The Gospel is to 
him no abstract theory, but the bread of life 
upon which his soul feeds every day and hour, 
making him happy as the bird that sings in the 
tree-top. I will give his testimony in his own 
words, and not one of his old neighbors or 
acquaintances but will heartily endorse it. 

He says : " When in my seventeenth year, 
under a deep sense of my lost condition as a 
sinner, I went out one evening into the fields by 
the fence-side, and cried for mercy, and mercy 
was given me. There and then I became a new 
creature. The peace, the joy, the love which 
followed made me very happy. 

" Twice, however, after my conversion I was 
in ' Doubting Castle ' as one of Giant Despair's 
prisoners. It happened in this way : Soon 
after my conversion I felt it my duty to confess 
Christ publicly, and I did. Almost immediately 
Satan began to taunt me, suggesting; ' What a 
fool you have made of yourself! You profess 
to be converted when you haven't been ! ' For 
some days I was in great distress till I renewed 


my consecration, and then it pleased the Lord 
to give me precious evidence of His love and 
salvation, restoring to me peace and joy. 

"Some weeks after my conversion I was 
guilty of wilfully neglecting what I knew to be 
my duty, and my religious life at once began to 
decline. For about six or seven months I was 
in a backslidden condition, and deservedly very 
unhappy. One day, while following the plow, a 
sense of my wretched condition deeply im- 
pressed me. I stopped the oxen, fell on my 
knees behind the plow, and earnestly pled for 
mercy, and to be restored again to God's favor. 
Mercy was shown, pardon was granted, and 
again I could rejoice in my Saviour's love. My 
disobedience, which had been the cause of all 
my troubles, was distinctly before my mind. 
The neglected duty was no longer neglected, 
and on its discharge all my doubts were gone, 
and the enemy fled in confusion. Peace and 
joy returned to my troubled soul. 

" Whatever may have been my unfaithfulness 
in my Christian life since then, from that day to 


this I have^never doubted my conversion or my 
being one of God's children. 

"In my eighty-fifth year, and in near prospect 
of the great solemnities of eternity, I can testify 
that not any good thing hath failed me of all 
that the Lord hath spoken." 

G. L. MACKAY, D.D.; 


So much has been said and written of this 
most famous of all the sons of Zorra, that it 
may be thought preposterous to attempt any- 
thing new. And yet one who has known him 
and his father's family intimately for half a cen- 
tury, who has prayed and preached, worked and 
worshipped, talked and travelled with him, may 
be pardoned if he seeks to bring out of the 
treasury of pleasant memories things new and 

The character of this really wonderful man is 
unique, and made up of apparently contradic- 
tory qualities. So simple and yet so sublime; 
so meditative, yet so active ; so tenacious of pur- 
pose, yet so yielding in matters of detail ; so 



G. L. MACK AY, D.D. 137 

humble before his Maker, yet so fearless before 
his fellowmen all this makes up a personality 
that Christian people in many lands have 
admired and even revered. 

There are many interesting points of com- 
parison between George Leslie Mackay and 
Charles Gordon, the hero of the Soudan. In 
both we see the same unfaltering faith in 
divine sovereignty, the same unswerving loy- 
alty to the Word of God and to prayer, the same 
heroic conception of duty, the same complete 
consecration to the cause espoused, the same 
disregard for personal comforts or discomforts, 
and the same intimate and uplifting fellowship 
with the Divine. Mackay was not less a soldier 
than Gordon, for, though he has fought with 
spiritual weapons, he has been no less intrepid 
and heroic as a soldier of Jesus Christ. 

The parentage of G. L. Mackay, like that of 
all Zorra boys, is of the plebeian order. He can 
truly say : 

" My boast is not that I can trace my birth 
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth ; 
But higher far my proud pretensions rise, 
The son of parents passed into the skies." 


His home, though humble, was Christian, and 
its memories have ever been an inspiration to 
him. In his book, " From Far Formosa," he 
writes : " Many a time in those first friendless 
days (in Formosa), when tongues were strange 
and hearts were hard, and the mob howled 
loudest in the street ; many a time among cruel 
savages in the mountains, when their orgies rose 
wildest in the night ; many a time, alone in the 
awful silence of primeval forests, in solitudes 
never before disturbed by a white man's tread 
many and many a time during these three and 
twenty y^ars have I looked back from far For- 
mosa, and in fancy gazed on my Zorra home, 
and joined in the morning or evening psalm. 

" Children were taught the Bible and the 
Shorter Catechism in the home ; and on the 
Sabbath, in the church, the great doctrines of 
grace were preached with faithfulness and 

The pioneer Highlanders of Zorra left their 
children something far better than rank or wealth; 
they bequeathed them healthy bodies, active 

G. L. MACK AY, D.D. 139 

minds, tenacity of purpose, disregard of diffi- 
culties, and a profound reverence for things 

On the school playground, which was just the 
public road, G. L. Mackay was always a promin- 
ent figure. None could overmatch him in a foot- 
race, or in a shinty game, and although it could 
not be said of him, as of Thomas Guthrie, that 
he was noted only for fun and fighting, yet, as 
some of his old schoolmates will remember, he 
sometimes showed that " the martial fires which 
thrilled his sires " were alive within him. 

In the schoolroom he was ambitious and 
generally stood " dux." On one occasion, when 
he was unfortunately obliged to relinquish this 
position in favor of his brother, he begged his 
brother not to report the fact at home. 

He writes : " Before I reached the age of ten 
the ever- blessed Name was sweet and sacred in 
my ear." About this time the famous mission- 
ary, W. C. Burns, visited Woodstock and Zorra, 
proclaiming the gospel of " free grace and dying 
love," and rousing the churches. His enthusiasm 
was contagious, and fired the boyish heart of 


G. L. Mackay, and from this time Mackay was 
in heart consecrated to the foreign field. 

In order to acquire means to pursue his educa- 
tion he taught school for a few years, during part 
of which time he required to walk four miles 
each day to and from his boarding-house. He 
early became an adept at handling the axe, and 
this has served him a good purpose in his mis- 
sionary work. 

After this he entered Knox College, at the 
same time taking classes in the University. He 
completed his theological course in Princeton. 

When about to leave home for the foreign 
field, his father, with the natural feeling of a 
parent's heart, said to him, " George, could you 
not get work enough at home ? " " Father," was 
the prompt reply, "for years the words have 
been ringing in my ears, ' Go ye into all the 
world and preach the gospel to every creature.' " 
Nothing more was said by the father. The 
mother was seen trying to hide her tears. Being 
remonstrated with, she replied, amid sobs: " A ta 
an spioradgu deimhin togarrach ach a ta an fheoil 
anmhunn " (The spirit is willing, but the flesh is 

G. L. MACK AY, D.D. 141 

In 1871 he went forth as the missionary of the 
Canada Presbyterian Church, scarcely know- 
ing whither he went, as he received no more 
specific instructions than to proceed to some 
part of China. 

After varied experiences on sea and land, he 
in March, 1872, first saw Tamsui and the dark 
green hills beyond, and there came to him a 
calm, clear, prophetic assurance this is the land. 
He was not disobedient to the heavenly voice. 
How he learned the language from the buffalo 
herd-boys, so that in five months he was able to 
preach a sermon ; his conflicts with the literati, 
the bitter persecutions he endured, his hair- 
breadth escapes, his many trials, his purpose of 
evangelizing the people through native converts, 
his method of educating his students and his 
converts, the wonderful success that ultimately 
crowned his labors into these we cannot here 
enter. They are recorded in his book. 

In 1899 Formosa was ceded by China to 
Japan. The change of government was not 
without its anxieties and dangers to our mis- 
sionary. Then the wide-spread disturbances and 


the awful massacres in China, during the present 
year, could not fail to affect for the worse the 
minds of the Chinese and Japanese in Formosa ; 
and many were the prayers offered throughout 
the Christian world that our missionary and his 
work might be protected. These prayers were 
heard, and so far nothing of a really alarming 
character has taken place. Dr. Mackay writes: 
" The work is aggressive and progressive. The 
God of battles is with us, and we can sing, 

' Onward, Christian soldiers. 
Looking unto Jesus. ' " 

Spiritual results cannot always be tabulated. 
Still, as indicating somewhat the extent of Dr. 
Mackay's work in Formosa, the following may 
be given from one of his recent reports: Total 
number of baptized Christians, 2,276 ; native 
pastors, i ; elders, 49 ; deacons, 57 ; chapels, 50 ; 
preachers, 42 ; students, 23 ; schools, 5 ; Bible- 
women, 27; girls, 15; boys, 120; patients 
treated in hospital in one year, 5,130. 

G. L. MACK AY, D.D. 143 


This is something remarkable. Rather under 
than over the average height, he is straight as a 
needle, compactly built, with muscles of steel. 
His neighbors tell many stories of his wonderful 
muscular feats in the harvest-field, at the thresh- 
ings, and at the logging- bees ; but I dwell not 
upon these. 

During his first visit home, in 1880, his friends 
in Oxford County felt that it would be a becom- 
ing thing for the missionary's native county to 
raise a sum of money sufficient to enable him to 
build a college in Tamsui. I was asked to take 
charge of the work, and to accompany him in 
visiting the congregations. We held one, two, 
and sometimes three meetings daily, travelling 
twenty or thirty miles each day, he speaking 
about one hour each time, and I following him 
with a brief explanation of what was proposed 
to be done. At that time I had at least the 
physical strength of an ordinary man ; but 
towards the close of the second week of our 
campaign I succumbed. The missionary was, 


however, as fresh as when he first set out, and 
took my Sabbath work for me, apparently with- 
out an effort. During the whole series of meet- 
ings he never manifested any signs of weariness 
or fatigue. 

The same power of endurance showed itself 
when he was engaged in long-continued mental 
effort. Rev. Dr. McTavish, of Deseronto, who 
acted as Dr. Mackay's amanuensis while prepar- 
ing his book, " From Far Formosa," says: " Dr. 
Mackay frequently dictated to me from 9 a.m. till 
6 p.m. with only one hour's intermission at noon. 
This he continued, day after day, for several 
weeks." Students and public speakers can ap- 
preciate the amount of nervous energy that 
could endure such a strain. 


During the tour through Oxford on behalf 
of his college, though he spoke substantially 
every time on the same subject, yet he rarely 
repeated himself; his addresses in and around 
the county were twenty-five in number, and were 
so varied that they might almost have formed a 
series addressed to the same audience. 

G. L. MACKAY, D.D. 145 

But his fertility of resource manifested itself 
in other ways. When addressing children he 
spoke with the simplicity of a child ; when deal- 
ing with students he was emphatically a teacher, 
not simply imparting information but aiming to 
draw out and develop their mental faculties ; 
with inquirers he was tender and practical, seek- 
ing to find some common ground upon which 
they and he might stand; when speaking to 
large popular assemblies on the work so dear to 
his heart, his soul was fired, his dark eyes 
flashed, his countenance glowed, his whole frame 
seemed electrified, his voice rang out clear and 
true, until the audience seemed spell-bound, 
responding to the varied emotions of the 

On the occasion of his last visit to this coun- 
try, a missionary conference was held in Knox 
Church, Toronto. It was a gathering of more 
than ordinary interest, as a large number of the 
leading missionary workers in Canada and the 
United States were present. The church was 
packed with a highly interested audience. After 
Dr. Gordon of Boston and Dr. Pierson of Phil- 


adelphia had spoken, Dr. Mackay was called 
upon to give the closing address. It was a scene 
never to be forgotten. He spoke with extraor- 
dinary power, and every sentence burned deep 
into the hearts of the hearers, as he pled the 
cause of the heathen. At the close of his ad- 
dress Dr. Pierson rose and asked if anyone pres- 
ent had taken a report of Dr. Mackay's address, 
adding, " I will gladly give $50 for a report of it, 
for it is the grandest missionary appeal I have 
ever listened to." No reporters were present, 
and the address had not been written, but some 
persons present reproduced as well as they 
could, from memory, the substance of it ; and 
it was published by Dr. Pierson, and tens of 
thousands of copies distributed in the United 
States and Canada. 

And what shall I say of the missionary's 
prayers ? None could hear them without feel- 
ing that he was brought into the presence of the 
Eternal. How simple his language ! How 
humble his attitude ! How strong his faith ! 
How direct and specific his petitions ! 

G. L. MACK AY, D.D. 147 


During the tour referred to $7,000 was raised, 
or an average of nearly $300 at each meeting, 
yet Dr. Mackay himself never once asked for 
money ; indeed, there was very little asking on 
the part of anyone. In his addresses he gave 
much information bearing on his field and work. 
But by far the most memorable portions of 
these addresses were his passionate appeals to 
sinners to come to Christ, and his fervent plead- 
ings with Christians to higher consecration. His 
appeals were directed to the head and to the 
heart, rather than to the pocket ; and yet, as the 
result showed, the pocket was reached, and in 
more than one place wedding rings and other 
valuables were put on the collection plate ; and 
in Ayr and Harrington the subscription book 
received handsome contributions from those 
outside the church, who, because of the crowd, 
were not able to get inside. Moral : While it is 
legitimate to speak to Christians in the plainest 
and most direct terms about money, yet there is 
another way, and in Dr. Mackay's case it proved 
to be the better way. 


Notwithstanding political disturbances the 
present year has been one of progress in For- 
mosa. In a letter dated September I7th, 1900, 
Dr. Mackay tells of a grand meeting in Oxford 
College, Tamsui, when thirteen native students, 
who had completed their studies, and two jun- 
iors, were sent forth to preach the everlasting 
Gospel to their countrymen. 

In the same letter he tells of a meeting in the 
chapel at Tsui-tug Kha, when 212 converts 
assembled, twenty-nine were baptized, and 
sixty-two observed the Lord's Supper. At this 
meeting a number of Christians, ranging from 
fifteen to twenty-seven years' standing, " ex- 
horted the new converts, and thanked God that 
they had heard the Gospel, accepted it, and 
followed Jesus through storm and sunshine." 

The hearts of thousands throughout Christen- 
dom are in Dr. Mackay's work, and many 
prayers go up for it. May it be blest more and 
more ; and at last may our devoted missionary 
lay down his work here, only to receive from his 
blessed Lord the crown of him who hath turned 
many to righteousness. 




RECENT writers have observed that a very 
large proportion of the great scholars and lead- 
ers of thought in our day, as well as prominent 
business men, were born in country districts, 
and rose to distinction by the steady effort, 
self-denial and devotion which their early sur- 
roundings called forth. The career of Professor 
Donald Mackay, B.A., Ph.D., strikingly illus- 
trates the fact that difficulties,, which are some- 
times regarded as hindrances to success, are to 
a strong, resolute mind only stepping-stones by 
which to rise to greater heights. Donald Mac- 
kay was born in West Zorra in 1859. He was 
the second son of Mr. and Mrs. Angus Mackay. 
His father was an esteemed elder of Knox 


Church, Embro. His paternal grandfather, 
John Mackay, was known far and wide as a 
man of wonderful natural gifts, and possessed 
of singular powers of oratory. 

Reared upon the farm, and familiar with the 
hardships pertaining to a country life in those 
days, young Mackay showed an early predilec- 
tion for study, and was prepared for public 
school teaching some time before the statutory 
age for entering that profession, 

In his school days he was a remarkably 
lively lad, fond of manly games and ambitious 
to excel in healthful sports. While attending 
the University, he was for three years a mem- 
ber of the champion football team of the Prov- 
ince. His amusements, however, were taken as 
recreation that is, subordinate to his work, and 
designed to re-create or renew the energies lost 
in the pursuit of his higher calling. His main 
ambition was always to give the foremost place 
to his studies, and to neglect nothing that 
would conduce to the cultivation of his mind. 

After three years of successful service as a 
public school teacher, he took steps to prepare 


himself for a university course. This he did at 
the Brantford Collegiate Institute, then under 
the principalship of James Mills, M.A. (now Dr. 
Mills, of the Ontario Agricultural College, 
Guelphj, and matriculated into Toronto Univer- 
sity with first-class honors in the year 1881. 

For the next four years Mr. Mackay devoted 
himself with great earnestness and success to 
his chosen work. He proved himself a remark- 
ably bright student, possessing originality of 
conception, with uncommon powers of applica- 
tion and concentration ; and in several depart- 
ments he secured the highest honors of the 
University. He was a thinker, a deep and in- 
dependent thinker, with a strong love for 
mathematical and metaphysical studies, and he 
elected as his special honor subject, psychology, 
under the stimulating teaching of the late illus- 
trious Professor Young. It is only stating a 
well-known, acknowledged fact, that he was Pro- 
fessor Young's favorite student. The admira- 
tion was mutual, for the famous professor had 
no more enthusiastic disciple than Donald 
Mackay. Under the inspiration of such a 


teacher it is no wonder that young Mackay be- 
came a most eager inquirer into the great prob- 
lems of metaphysics, psychology and ethics, 
winning during successive years the scholar- 
ships in these branches of learning. 

In 1885 he graduated with the highest hon- 
ors. During his college career he was elected 
president of the literary society. 

Immediately after graduation he was ap- 
pointed principal of Elora High School, and in 
the three years he served in that position he 
raised the school to a foremost place among the 
High Schools of the Province. His memory is 
fondly cherished by his old pupils, over whom 
he had a marvellous influence, by precept and 
example stimulating them to what was manly, 
pure and noble in life. By personal and private 
dealing with each pupil, he encouraged the 
despondent, stimulated the indolent, and in- 
spired all with lofty conceptions of duty to God 
and man, as well as love for study. In Elora 
he also taught the Bible-class of the church with 
great acceptance and success. 

On the death of Professor Young, in 1891, 


Mr. Mackay was invited to occupy for the re- 
mainder of the session the position thus rendered 
vacant. Youthful and inexperienced as he was, 
he acquitted himself so well in his new and re- 
sponsible position, that the students unanimously 
petitioned for his permanent appointment as 
Professor Young's successor. 

Mr. Mackay strongly felt, however, his need of 
additional study and experience before assuming 
such a responsibility ; and so, for the next two 
years, devoted himself to post-graduate work at 
Hanover (Mass.) and Freiburg (Germany) Uni- 
versities. In the latter he studied under a num- 
ber of the most famous scholars, and at the close 
of his work received the degree of Doctor of 

But, alas! so many years of close application 
to study told only too manifestly upon his physi- 
cal system. From Germany he returned home, 
loaded with honors, but with shattered nerves 
and a broken-down constitution. For many 
years his mental faculties had been run at high 
pressure, and now the naturally strong but 
human tenement showed signs of giving way 


under the severe and long-continued strain. In 
order to recuperate, he spent the next year in 
Colorado. But even during his leisure his am- 
bition and thirst for knowledge would not allow 
him to remain idle. His vacation simply shifted 
the scene of his work. He contributed a num- 
ber of literary and philosophical articles to 
leading magazines and journals in the United 
States, qualified himself for examination in 
theology, and was licensed to preach the Gospel 
by the Presbytery of Denver. The chair of 
Psychology in Toronto University, having again 
become vacant through the removal of Professor 
Baldwin to another university, Dr. Mackay 
received the appointment But another place 
awaited him. The Great Master said, " Come up 
higher." On his way home from Colorado he 
was seized with paralysis, and some months 
afterwards his sun set while yet his life's great 
work seemed only beginning. 

He died February I ith, 1894, in the thirty-fifth 
year of his age. He was young, but he lived 
long. Life is measured rather by thoughts and 
deeds than by days and hours. Do they not 


sail long enough who win the harbor? Do they 
not contend long enough who obtain the victory ? 
Do they not run long enough who reach the 
goal ? And do they not live long enough on 
earth who win heaven, be their days never so 

Dr. Mackay was well known to the writer as 
an earnest, devout Christian, humble and unos- 
tentatious, but none the less a sincere follower of 
his Master. He took a deep interest in the 
work and welfare of young people, and to them 
his career should be at once an inspiration and 
a warning an inspiration to earnest work, a 
warning to guard against overwork even in a 
good cause. 

I will here quote the words of Rev. G. 
Munro, M.A., Ridgetown, Ont, for many years 
pastor of Zorra church : " With mingled feel- 
ings of deep sorrow and joy, I stood by 
his bedside; sorrow, when I looked upon the 
shattered body of a noble and promising young 
man, joy at the simple faith of the scholar in 
the Saviour, the calm contemplation of death, 
and the self-forgetting inquiry for the welfare 


of old friends. To him at even-tide there was 
light. He spoke words of cheer to the sorrow- 
ing relatives and friends, and asked that the 
thirty-fourth psalm be read." 

The Master came, and the freed spirit of 
Donald Mackay took its flight to where all 
mysteries are solved and all aspirations gratified. 

The funeral was one of the largest ever seen 
in the district ; a number of clergymen were 
present, and impressive services were conducted 
by Rev. G. C. Patterson, M.A. All Zorra bowed 
the head in sincere and sympathetic sorrow 
because Donald Mackay was dead. 



NELSON JANES was born in the State of New 
York on January 3rd, 1819, and came with his 
father to Zorra when he was five years of age. 
For fourteen years he worked on the farm and 
attended school, after which he went to live with 
his uncle at Geneseo, N.Y., and here he spent 
the rest of his days. 

Zorra's reputation as the nursery of honest 
and energetic men has suffered none in the per- 
son of Nelson Janes. Read the following which 
appeared in the daily paper of Geneseo at the 
time of Mr. Janes' death : 

" From 1849 to 1855 he was clerk of the Board 
of Supervisors, and from 1850 to 1855 was 
manager of the estate of Wm. H. Spencer. In 
1855 he was engaged by General James S. 


Wadsworth to superintend his affairs in Buffalo, 
which he did until 1863, when the general in- 
duced him to assume charge of the entire estate, 
with headquarters at Geneseo. His new duties 
required him not only to manage the Geneseo 
and Buffalo affairs of the Wadsworth estates, 
but also several outlying interests in the States 
of Michigan, Ohio and elsewhere. This position 
he held until January 1st, 1889, when on ac- 
count of failing health he was compelled, prac- 
tically, to retire from active responsibility. It 
was not easy, however, to lay aside the long 
experience of forty-nine consecutive years, 
which made his services of so much value. 

" In 1842 he married Philena E. Baker, 
daughter of Timothy Baker, of Livonia, who 
died in April, 1874, leaving three children, who 
still survive. Mary A. and Laura L. lived with 
their father until his death, and William S. 
is now in a manufacturing establishment at La 
Porte, Ind., holding an important position. 
During his long residence in this place Mr. 
Janes has held many positions of public trust. 
He has been a trustee and secretary of the 


Cemetery Association for thirty years, and a 
trustee of the Union School for twenty-eight 
years. He was also a trustee of the village and 
its president for several terms, besides being its 
treasurer for numerous years. He was clerk of 
the village two terms, and in 1869 was super- 
Visor of the town of Geneseo. After 1863 he 
was a director of the Geneseo Valley National 

Mr. Janes was a devoted member of the 
Presbyterian Church, and for twenty-five years 
a trustee. Even in his advanced age he was 
never absent from church or Bible-class, unless 
through sickness or absence from home. 

He was of a bright, cheerful disposition, and 
had a great love for children. One who knew 
him well says : " He was never so happy as 
when furnishing some poor little boy with a new 
suit of clothes, or buying sleds, fire-crackers, etc., 
for the little ones who would otherwise have 
lacked this enjoyment." 

He died in the eightieth year of his age, 
highly esteemed by all who knew him. 



ISAAC BURDICK, father of the subject of the 
present sketch, was born in the State of New 
York, on November 29th, 1782 ; was married to 
Abigail Sage in August, 1803, and moved with 
his wife to West Oxford, two miles east of 
Ingersoll, where nine children were born to 
them. Here they endured great hardships. In 
1814 the only grist-mill in the place was burnt 
by the American soldiers, and many of the 
horses taken away. After this the people had 
to take their grist to Norwich on horseback ; 
and as horses were very scarce, many were 
compelled, as best they could, to pound the 
wheat into flour at home. 

In 1821 Mr. Burdick, with his wife and family, 


D. S. BURDICK 161 

came to Zorra. He took up four hundred acres 
of land, being lots 9 and 10, on the third conces- 
sion, thus becoming the third settler in the town- 
ship. On this farm was erected the first frame 
barn in Zorra, part of the framework of which 
can still be seen. 

Isaac Burdick was a man of energy, devotion 
and intelligence ; he was the first conveyancer, 
the first school-teacher, and the first class-leader 
in Zorra. 

D. S. Burdick, our present subject, was the 
youngest member of the family. He was born 
on July 3rd, 1819, so that he was only two years 
of age when he came to Zorra. In 1845 he was 
married to Mary Ann Graves. Three children 
were born to them, of whom only one is now 
living, Mrs. A. Macaulay, of Ingersoll. 

Mr. Burdick and his wife are spending the 
evening of life in circumstances of much comfort 
in Ingersoll. The writer recently spent a very 
pleasant hour with him, and learned many inter- 
esting facts concerning the early settlement. 
Although in the eighty-second year of his age, 
he is almost as active as a boy ; and in good 


weather delights to ride his bicycle three or four 
miles every morning before breakfast. This 
good health he attributes to total abstinence 
from alcoholic liquors, plain diet, and plenty of 
outdoor exercise. His aged wife is equally 
healthy and happy. Mr. Burdick likes to remem- 
ber that his family was the first in Zorra to sign 
the temperance pledge. This pledge was pre- 
sented for signature by Mr. Geo. Clark, of Wood- 
stock, who was working for a temperance soci- 
ety in Montreal. " Temperance," says Mr. Bur- 
dick, " not only helped to preserve my health, 
but it also greatly conduced to my present com- 
fortable position financially in life, as it enabled 
me to lay aside something for the rainy day. 

" My education," said Mr. Burdick, " was 
acquired under difficulties that the youth of to- 
day know nothing about. The school-house was 
at Cody's Corners, that is, three miles from 
our house. Thither I walked each morning, 
and took my turn, with a number of other 
boys, in kindling the school fire from green 

" My school-teachers were my father, George 

D. S. BURDICK 163 

Harris, Mervin Cody, J. Eraser, S. Luvis and 
Wm. Kingston. The last named taught at 
Piper's Corners, and now lives in Ottawa. He 
was certainly my best teacher. The teacher 
boarded round, getting so many days' board for 
each scholar. The diet of those days, though 
plain, was good and wholesome ; bread and 
milk, potatoes, porridge made of Indian corn- 
meal, pork and beans ; and at some seasons of 
the year, venison and fish. 

" The clothes were for the most part very 
coarse, homespun woollen. Most of the farmers 
kept a few sheep; that supplied the material for 
the clothes. By means of a pair of hand cards, 
a woman would convert the wool into large 
rolls; then the rolls were spun into thread, on a 
little wheel which the woman turned with her 
foot. The yarn thus made was taken to a 
weaver (usually a woman) and woven into cloth. 
The cloth was then fulled, by being pounded 
with the end of a beetle, prepared for that pur- 
pose, in a barrel containing hot soapsuds. It 
was then usually colored with a dye produced 
from butternut bark. The wearing quality of 
such cloth was excellent. 


" Most families cut and made their own clothes, 
although, not infrequently, there would be the 
owner of a farm who possessed some knowledge 
of the tailoring business, and who was always 
willing to make coats, pants and vests for his 
neighbors in exchange for their work on his farm. 
These pioneer tailors served a useful purpose, 
though it is needless to say their knowledge of 
'fitting' was exceedingly limited. 'I spy a fault,' 
said one of them ; ' I have sewed the sleeve onto 
the pocket-hole.' " 

Mr. Burdick tells how, on one occasion, his 
mother took two of the children with her on 
horseback, with a roll of homespun linen, and 
rode to Brantford, to exchange the linen for 
groceries and household necessaries. 

Snakes were very plentiful ; they would be 
found running through the grain, and round the 
stumps, and under the sheaves. At first they 
were a terror to the pioneers, but after they were 
found to be harmless, some at least of the terror 
passed away. Still, when you found a snake 
wriggling out of the sheaf you were binding, the 
sensation was by no means pleasant. 

D. S. BURDICK 165 

Bear-hunting and wolf-trapping in those days 
were popular sports, and some of them sensa- 
tional enough. The presence of these ferocious 
beasts in the forests was the source of great 
alarm to the settlers, especially when any man, 
woman or child was lost in the woods. 

In the spring of 1835 there was a memorable 
sensation of this kind. Miles Cody lived on lot 
16, concession 7, of Zorra. One Sunday he was 
attending the Baptist Church on the nth line, 
his wife and child being left at home. In the 
afternoon Mrs. Cody, taking her babe, nearly a 
year old, in her arms, went to see that the sheep 
were safe for the night, for the dismal howl- 
ing of the wolves had been dictinctly heard in 
the neighborhood. The sheep could not be 
found, and Mrs. Cody, concluding that they had 
got over the fence into the woods, went in search 
of them. Soon she discovered deer tracks, which 
she supposed were the tracks of the missing 
sheep, and so followed on and on, in a northerly 
direction ; and thus farther and farther into the 
unbroken wilderness and marshy land. She did 
not discover her mistake, till the shades of night 


were fast falling upon her. What was she to do ? 
She had lost her bearings ; she knew not east 
from west, north from south. With her babe in 
her arms she wandered about in the dark for a 
while, but as is strangely the case with all per- 
sons lost in the woods, she moved in a circle, 
and by-and-by returned to the spot which she 
had recently left. She called a few times, but 
there was no response save the far-sounding 
echo of her own voice. She thought of the wild- 
cats, the bears and the wolves that abounded in 
the forest, but she did not faint or become hys- 
terical. She knew the better way. 

Mr. Cody, getting home about dark, could find 
neither wife nor child anywhere, and concluded 
that they were at the nearest neighbor's, about 
half a mile distant. So he went over to Sandy 
MacKay's (Russell), but no wife or babe was 
there. He then went on to John MacKay's 
(Elder), but could find no trace of wife or child. 

By this time it was getting dark, and the hus- 
band and friends were becoming greatly alarmed, 
and many blood-curdling tales of people de- 
voured by wild beasts came to mind. The 

D. S. BURDICK 167 

whole vicinity was soon notified and thoroughly 
aroused. The night was passed hunting for the 
lost ones ; they shouted, they blew horns, they 
fired guns, but no response came. Thus the 
weary night was spent, but to no purpose. The 
wanderer had gone too far to be within reach of 
sound of voice, or horn, or gun. The next morn- 
ing, with the first streaks of dawn, all the people 
of the district were on the ground, ready for a 
systematic search. They spread out so as to 
take in a wide sweep, and proceeded in a north- 
erly direction. About noon they found the lost 
woman with her babe, safe, but greatly exhausted. 
What a happy meeting ! 

She told them how, the night before, she had 
become completely wearied with wandering, and 
giving up hope of any human help for the 
night, she began to think of the wildcats, and 
the bears, and the wolves, and became alarmed ; 
how she committed herself and her babe to 
Him who sees in the dark as well as in the 
light ; how her prayers were answered, for she 
soon discovered a hollow tree, with an open- 
ing near the ground, just large enough for her 


to go in with her babe, and also the little dog 
which had accompanied her. Here she stayed 
until morning. Once or twice she thought she 
heard the howling of the wolves, but no savage 
beast was allowed to come near her. The 
weather was not very cold, and the angel of the 
Lord protected His handmaid and her babe in 
the wilderness. 

But we must not forget Mr. Burdick. It was 
no easy matter in those early days to secure a 
marriage license, and Mr. Burdick well remem- 
bers his own trying experience at this impor- 
tant period of his life. Having made sure of the 
girl, and having got the parental consent, he 
set out on foot for London, a distance of thirty 
miles, to get the license. The first question put 
to him by the dignified official was : " Where 
are your bondsmen ? " Mr. Burdick had none, 
and knew of no one in London who would 
assume responsibility for him. In this despair- 
ing state of mind he was walking the streets, 
when he providentially met Mr. Angus Mac- 
leod, a neighbor from Zorra, who happened to 
be in London on business, and who readily 

D. S. BURDICK. 169 

agreed to become a bondsman. But another 
was required. After some difficulty a stranger 
was secured, who, being repeatedly assured that 
all was right, consented to assume the office of 
the other bondsman, and so the difficulty was 

Marriage, with some in Zorra in those early 
days, was very much a matter-of-fact business. 
A man took to himself a wife much on the same 
principle as he bought a yoke of oxen just be- 
cause his circumstances imperatively demanded 
it. " I knew a Zorra. man," says Mr. Burdick, 
" who decided to get married, and went to Lon- 
don to get the license. The name of the lady 
had, of course, to be inserted in the license. 
This the man was not prepared for. He wanted 
a blank form, which he could fill in afterwards, 
as he couldn't just then decide which of two or 
three neighboring girls he would have. He was 
told that a blank form could not be given him ; 
and after taking some time he finally made up 
his mind which name he would insert." 

Mr. Burdick well remembers the scenes 
01 '37, and relates how on that occasion 


the volunteers marched to Woodstock, many ot 
them for weapons having only sticks with 
spikes in the end of them. 

" My name," says Mr. Burdick, " was the first 
on the petition asking the late Donald Mathe- 
son to run for member of Parliament." 

Mr. Burdick is a life-long, consistent member 
of the Methodist Church, but his sympathies are 
not confined to any one church ; and it is delight- 
ful to hear him speak with such warm apprecia- 
tion of the Christian character and work of the 
late Rev. Donald Mackenzie. " After many 
years of separation," he said, " I one day met 
Mr. Mackenzie on the streets of Ingersoll. He 
was accompanied by two other aged clergymen, 
and did not at first recognize me. But I went 
up and spoke to him, and asked him and his 
friends to dinner. ' Brethren,' said Mr. Macken- 
zie to his companions, ' let us go with this kind 
friend, for Abraham once entertained three 
angels unawares.' " 





THE career of John Griffiths is closely associ- 
ated with one of the most important problems of 
our time. The conflict to-day between labor 
and capital extends almost over the whole 
civilized world, and instead of showing any signs 
of subsiding, it seems to be getting more acute 
every year. Many, indeed, fear the chasm be- 
tween the employer and employee will continue 
to widen until He comes who will put all wrongs 
right, and " Man to man the world o'er, shall 
brother be for a' that." In the meantime ser- 
vants must be reminded that unreasonable 
demands, unjust dictation, violence, and defiance 
of law will never bring about the reign of 
righteousness. Masters also must be warned 


against injustice, harshness, oppression, and 
reminded that servants have their rights ; that it 
is the duty of the master to take a kindly 
interest in their concerns, and to pay them not 
the least possible, or what some other firm pays 
for the same work, but the very most that the 
business will allow. When masters become 
millionaires, and their servants continue, year 
after year, on the brink of starvation, there is 
something seriously wrong. They must bear in 
mind, also, that their employees and those depen- 
dent upon them have spiritual as well as temporal 
wants. Put yourself in the servant's place, and 
do as you would like to be done by. This is the 
gospel rule. 

John Griffiths had worked as a bricklayer 
day by day for years, and now for a long time 
he has been one of the leading master-builders 
in the United States. For the inauguration of 
an era of sympathy between employer and 
employed we must look to men like him, men 
of clear heads and kind hearts, who know by 
personal experience both the struggles of the 
servants and the heavy responsibilities of the 


He was born near Braemar, in 1848, and 
attended the school on the loth line, lot n. 
Among his schoolmates were not a few who 
have since become prominent in the world, such 
as James Wood & Brothers, now of Chicago, 
G. L. Mackay, D.D., of Formosa ; the late Dr. 
Hugh Mackay, of Woodstock ; and Rev. R. P. 
Mackay, D.D., of Toronto. Afterwards young 
Griffiths attended the school on the 8th line 
taught by Rev. J. L. Murray, D.D., now of 

Many were the pitched battles fought in those 
days. Sides were chosen, usually one conces- 
sion against another, and the bullets were snow- 
balls, which in mild or soft weather could be 
made very hard. To-day John Griffiths stands 
six feet two inches, and well proportioned. He 
was a powerfully-built boy, always ready for fun 
or fight, and few cared to tackle him. His old 
schoolmates still laugh as they relate how on 
one occasion he took hold of Sandy Bruce's 
young bull by the tail, and swung him into a 
brush heap. 

In 1872 he left Zorra and went to Brantford, 


to work at his trade as bricklayer, which he had 
learned with his father. From Brantford he 
went to Chicago, where he worked with a firm 
of builders, and in a short time was promoted 
over older and much more experienced men to 
the position of foreman. His career has been an 
unbroken series of successes, until to-day he can 
point to a considerable number of the largest 
public buildings in half a dozen States as erected 
under his oversight. Among these are the 
Masonic Temple, Chicago, standing twenty-three 
stories high, and costing $3,000,000 ; the Rialto, 
facing on the Board of Trade building, costing 
$1,000,000; the great Northern Hotel, Chicago, 
twenty stories high, and costing $1,500,000 ; the 
Oriental Hotel, Dallas, Texas, costing $1,000,000; 
the Great Northern Depot, Chicago, costing 
$1,250,000 ; all the depots and round-houses on 
the Rock Island R. R., from Topeka, Kansas, to 
Colorado Springs, Col. 

The drainage canal of Chicago, designed to 
convey the sewage of the city a distance of 
thirty miles, to the Mississippi River, is known 
as a work of great engineering skill. John 


Griffiths had a contract for a part of this 
immense work ; his tender was $1,500,000 and 
he made well out of it, though every other con- 
tractor lost heavily. 

The completion of this work was celebrated 
by a great gathering of leading public men, 
and many of the expert engineers of the 
United States. John Griffiths was selected to 
give the address on the engineering feats of the 
undertaking, a striking testimony to his skill 
and the part he took in the construction of the 
work. The total cost of this canal was over 
$30,000,000. He has also erected large works 
in St. Louis and Kansas City. 

The only permanent building erected on the 
World's Fair grounds was the Arts Building, and 
this was erected by John Griffiths. There are 
twelve million bricks in it. 

At present he is engaged in erecting a State 
building of immense proportions in Atlanta, 

To temperance, tact, and a strict attention to 
business may be ascribed the success of this 
Zorra boy. 


His life is a living illustration of the words oi 
a homely poet : 

" Never you mind the crowd, lad, 
Nor fancy your life won't tell ; 
The work is the work for all that, 
To him that doeth it well. 

" Just fancy the world a hill, lad ; 
Look where the millions stop ; 
You will find the crowd at the base, lad, 
There's always room at the top." 

He married a Chicago lady, and has an 
interesting family of two boys and three girls. 
His house, built at a cost of $80,000, is situated 
on Michigan Avenue. He gives largely to 
religious and benevolent purposes. He still likes 
to visit the scenes of boyhood days, and when he 
comes to Woodstock his aged mother is not the 
only one who is glad to see her boy. 



THE late Thomas Oliver was born in the 
parish of Kildonan, Sutherland, Scotland, in the 
year 1820. The family consisted of five, three 
sons and two daughters. Of these Thomas was 
the eldest, and after the good old custom was 
named after his father. Adam Oliver, of 
Woodstock, is the only member of the family 
still surviving. 

While very young the Oliver family moved 
from Kildonan to the parish of Farr. Here 
there was no school within twelve miles, but Mr. 
Oliver, sen., with two other neighbors, built a 
school-house of turf, and hired a teacher, and in 
this humble abode of learning Thomas Oliver 
got his primary education. Old Mr. Oliver, 
being a shepherd, moved from place to place, 
until finally he settled for some years in the 
12 177 


parish of Lairg, Sutherlandshire. By dint of 
close application and perseverance, Thomas by 
this time had picked up education enough to 
enable him to teach school, which he did for 
two years. Then in October, 1840, the whole 
family crossed the Atlantic, and after en- 
during the usual hardships and privations of 
emigrants in those early days, settled down 
on lot 20, concession 8, West Zorra. Thomas, 
now twenty years of age, taught for two or 
three years in the little log school-house, north 
of Braemar, on John Calder's farm. 

Mr. Oliver's ambition, however, was in the 
direction of commercial pursuits, and having 
determined to relinquish the schoolroom, he 
entered the large dry -goods establishment of the 
late W. C. McLeod, Woodstock. His success 
as a salesman, together with the confidence in- 
spired in his employer by strict integrity and a 
faithful discharge of his duties, brought their 
reward. He was sent on several occasions 
across the Atlantic to make the foreign pur- 
chases, and after several years of faithful service 
he secured a partnership in this prosperous busi- 


ness. In 1857 he opened an establishment of 
his own, near the corner of Dundas and Vansit- 
tart Streets, and this he conducted successfully 
until 1868, when it was bought by Messrs. 
Schell and Clarke, Mr. Oliver having determined 
to give up business, owing to the public respon- 
sibilities which he had in the meantime assumed. 
For many years he was an extensive and popu- 
lar wool merchant on the market in Woodstock, 
when wool was selling at forty cents a pound. 

Although engrossed in the duties and cares 
of a large business, Mr. Oliver found time to 
give considerable attention to public matters, for 
which he evinced a strong liking and a remark- 
able aptitude. 

His first municipal office was attained in 
1859, when he entered the Town Council, from 
which he passed as Reeve to the County 
Council, and then to the Warden's chair, a 
position which he reached in 1866. He was at 
intervals a member of the Public and High 
School Boards of the town, and in all of these 
positions proved himself able and efficient. 

In 1857 he was married to Marilla, daughter 
of John Clark, East Oxford 


Mr. Oliver had not been long in Woodstock 
before he began to take an interest in politics, 
his sympathies being strongly with the Reform 
party, like those of so large a majority of his 
fellow-Scotchmen in Canada. At that time 
party lines were very tightly drawn, and the 
issues of the hour were discussed more fre- 
quently and with much greater warmth than at 
the present time. Nor were there, perhaps, in 
all Oxford at that day so many political dis- 
cussions as among the groups of intelligent and 
decidedly pronounced politicians who were wont 
to gather about Eden's corner, adjacent to the 
Oliver store, and who sometimes held public de- 
bates in the old court house. In these Mr. Oliver 
was always prominent, and thereby doubtless 
developed some of that political ability and those 
aspirations which subsequently led to his can- 
didature and election in the North Riding of 

It was in the political contest between Mr. 
Alexander, of Woodstock, and Mr. Cowan, of 
Waterloo, as candidates for the Legislative 
Assembly of Canada, in 1858, that Mr. Oliver 


appeared prominently for the first time. The 
contest was, to a certain extent, one between 
the two divisions of the then great Gore electoral 
district of Oxford and Waterloo ; and it was 
perhaps on this account that Mr. Oliver warmly 
espoused the cause of his neighbor, Mr. Alex- 
ander, for whom, along with many other Re- 
formers, he labored with energy and very effect- 
ively throughout the campaign. From this time 
forward he was generally regarded as a probable 
candidate for Parliament ; and when a vacancy 
occurred in 1866, by the death of the late Hope 
F. Mackenzie, in the representation of the riding 
for the Canadian Assembly, Mr. Oliver opposed 
the nominee of the Reform convention, Dr. D. 
Clarke, of Princeton, being dissatisfied with the 
Association's constitution and action. He was 
elected by a decisive majority (as he always was 
at every subsequent election) to the House of 
Commons, when opposition was offered him. 
On two occasions, '67 and '72, Mr. Oliver was 
returned by acclamation. Throughout the 
whole of his parliamentary career, which was 
creditable to himself and satisfactory to his 


constituents, he remained a staunch Liberal, and 
his attachment to the party and the party's 
principles grew more pronounced with each year. 
In the stirring events and trying conflicts which 
preceded the fall of the Conservative Govern- 
ment in '73, Mr. Oliver took a keen and active 
interest ; and on Mr. Mackenzie's assumption of 
office he extended to the new government a 
cordial and enthusiastic support. A man of the 
people himself, his sympathies and influences 
were naturally always accorded to such measures 
of legislation as were calculated to enlarge their 
liberties and to maintain their rights. His 
ability in debate, and his invariable courtesy 
alike to friend and opponent, secured for him 
always the respectful attention of the House, 
and few of its members, during the fourteen 
years which Mr. Oliver represented the riding, 
have been more popular. In his later political 
campaigns Mr. Oliver gave his services freely 
on behalf of his friends in many constituencies 
of Western Ontario. He possessed a thorough 
knowledge of public affairs, was a ready speaker, 
moderate in the expression of his views and 


their qualifications, and these along with his fine, 
manly appearance and winning presence made 
him a welcome and popular campaigner where- 
ever he went. 

As Mr. Oliver's pastor for some years, the 
author has the most pleasant remembrance of 
him. Kind-hearted, genial, hopeful, no minister 
could wish a better friend. At midnight, on 
Tuesday, November 9th, 1880, the end came 
with terrific suddenness, and I do not know that 
I can close this article better than with a few 
sentences quoted from the sermon I preached 
on the occasion of his funeral : 

" In the words we have just read (Luke 12 : 
34-40) death is spoken of as a thief coming in 
the night suddenly and unexpectedly. Seldom 
has this truth been more strikingly and mourn- 
fully illustrated than in the unforeseen, sudden 
and painful loss which, along with multitudes 
throughout the Dominion, we to-day deplore. 

" We are stunned, bewildered, and we find it 
almost impossible to realize that he with whom 
we so lately associated is now with us no more. 
One day we saw him active, vigorous, genial 


and cheerful, but at midnight the cry came, and 
next day we beheld him cold in death. Last 
Sabbath evening, as I observed him listening so 
attentively to the truth while I was showing 
from Providence, and from the Word of God, 
the shortness and uncertainty of human life, the 
vanity of earthly treasures and the wisdom of 
laying up treasures in heaven, little did I think 
that my dear friend, Thomas Oliver, would 
within a few hours illustrate these truths. 

" In presence of the honored dead before us, 
how vividly do we realize that health is but an 
empty name, life a troubled dream, and worldly 
position a fleeting meteor. High and low, 
learned and unlearned, rich and poor, all are 
hastening to a common goal ; some go a little 
before and the rest are sure to follow after ; 
John outruns Peter to the sepulchre, but Peter 
is not far behind him. 

" We are not here to-day to praise the dead ; 
it is not necessary. When the future historian 
writes the history of this country and chronicles 
the political events of the last thirteen years, the 


name of Thomas Oliver will not be forgotten. 
Large in his views, thoroughly sincere in his 
desire to advance the interests of his constit- 
uency, and the welfare of his country, honest in 
his convictions, and fearless in the maintenance 
of them, he occupied a prominent and influential 
position in the parliament of our Dominion. 
Since the sad intelligence of his death flew 
with lightning speed throughout the length and 
breadth of our land, public men on both sides of 
politics have vied with each other in bearing 
the most unqualified testimony to his many ex- 
cellent qualities of head and heart. No legisla- 
tor in the country stood higher in the esteem of 
his constituents. This has been time and again 
demonstrated. And although for well-nigh forty 
years he lived and labored in this town and 
county as a public man, daily coming in contact 
with persons of all classes and of all shades of 
opinion, it is safe to say that he died leaving 
not a personal enemy behind him, and never has 
the tongue of slander found anything to whisper 
against his private or public moral character. 
There are few in the county with whom he was 


not personally acquainted and who did not 
esteem him a friend. 

" Diffident and retiring in his disposition, he 
was not in religious matters so demonstrative 
as some could have wished, but a good cause 
always found in him a sympathizing friend. His 
place in the house of God was seldom, if ever, 
vacant on the Sabbath, morning or evening, ex- 
cept when he was absent from home. 

" He has been taken from us in the midst of 
his years and usefulness. This congregation 
where he worshipped for so many years will 
miss him ; the whole Dominion will miss him ; 
but most of all his own family will miss, sorely 
miss him. Wise, beneficent, generous as he was 
in public life, it was yet in the bosom of his 
family that the many kind, amiable qualities of 
his heart chiefly displayed themselves. But we 
must not lacerate anew hearts that are already 
bursting with sorrow by dwelling upon the 
virtues of the husband and parent. The sorrow 
of this desolate home to-day is too sacred for us 
to intrude into, further than to assure the sor- 
rowing ones of the profound sympathy of the 


community at large, and to commend them to 
Him who is the husband of the widow and the 
father of the fatherless. 

" Sorrowing ones, have faith in God. He doeth 
all things well. Clouds and darkness are round 
about His throne, but righteousness and truth 
go before His face. What He doeth thou 
knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. 
Be ye therefore ready also, for the Son of man 
cometh at an hour when ye think not." 

It may be added that Mr. Oliver left behind 
him a widow, a son and two daughters. The 
widow and the son have now joined him where 
parting is unknown, and only the two daughters 
survive. These are Mrs. Chas. Clay, of Minne- 
apolis, and Mrs. John McCoun, of Toronto. 


ONE of the charges not infrequently brought 
against Scotchmen, and especially Highlanders, 
is that they are not sufficiently cosmopolitan in 
their views and sympathies. The political his- 
tory of Zorra does not bear out this charge. As 
a part of the County of Oxford, the district has 
been represented in Parliament by such distin- 
guished men from a distance as Sir Francis 
Hincks, Hon. George Brown, Hon. William 
McDougall and Sir Oliver Mowat. But while 
thus appreciating and appropriating outside 
talent, the people of Zorra have not been remiss 
in recognizing talent at home. From the stand- 
point of business ability, it would be hard to find 
three men superior to the late Donald Mathe- 
son, the late Thomas Oliver, and Hon. James 



Sutherland, the county's three home representa- 
tives, and each of them a Zorra man. 

Like most men who have come to the front in 
our day, James Sutherland was born and reared 
in the country. On the farm he developed those 
physical and mental qualities which have fitted 
him for one position of trust after another, until 
to-day he is an esteemed member of the Domin- 
ion Cabinet. 

James Sutherland comes of good Highland 
Scotch stock, his father, Alexander Sutherland, 
having removed to this country in 1841, from 
Caithness-shire. He was himself born in what 
is known as the "Scotch Block," Ancaster, 
Ontario, in 1849. His mother, Allison Renton, 
was a daughter of John Renton, one of the pio- 
neers of Ancaster. She died before James 
reached the age of three, and his father, after 
moving to the loth line, East Zorra, died in 
1857, before the lad was eight years of age. It 
is wonderful how many men of mark have lost 
their fathers early ; not so many, however, their 
mothers. The loss of the father, by throwing 
great responsibility upon the boy, helps not 


infrequently to develop his manhood ; but alas 
for the poor motherless boy. 

James Sutherland received his primary educa- 
tion in the country school, and among his teach- 
ers was the now well-known Rev. Dr. Robertson, 
Superintendent of Presbyterian Missions in 
Manitoba and the North-West Territories. He 
afterwards attended the Woodstock Grammar 
School, at that time taught by the late George 
Strauchan. While attending the Woodstock 
school, he always walked to and from his home 
in the country, and on Saturdays worked for 
John Forrest & Co., in the store, and buying 
grain on the market. 

When fifteen years of age he left school, and 
entered upon five years of service in a business 
establishment in Ingersoll. 

In 1869, when only twenty years of age, he 
bought the large general store of John Forrest, 
in Woodstock, and set up in business for him- 
self. Already we see in the young man more 
than ordinary mental activity and business 

In the twenty- fourth year of his age Mr. 


Sutherland sold his store and bought the bank- 
ing and exchange business of the late John 
Mackay, of Woodstock. About this time, also, 
he purchased the Ontario Vinegar Works at 
Hamilton. Not long ago, when the modern 
method of manufacturing acetylene gas was dis- 
covered by a Woodstock scientist, Mr. T. L. 
Willson, Mr. Sutherland quickly recognized the 
possibilities involved in the discovery, and joined 
with Mr. Willson in the manufacture of calcium 
carbide, the article from which acetylene gas is 
now obtained. Already a factory is in opera- 
tion in Merritton, Ontario, and a much larger 
one at the Chaudiere Falls, Ottawa. They are 
at present engaged in developing an immense 
water-power in the Province of Quebec, at the 
confluence of the Shipshaw River and the 
Saguenay, with the intention of erecting a 
factory for export trade. 

Mr. Sutherland's business career has been 
characterized by energy, tact, caution and a 
large measure of success. 

Very early in life he began to take an inter- 
est in the public affairs of his town and country. 


When but twenty-seven years of age he placed 
his foot on the lowest rung of the ladder, being 
elected to represent St. George's Ward in the 
Woodstock Town Council. Promotion came 
quickly, for during the three following years he 
was elected Reeve of the town and a member 
of the County Council. He next (1880) occu- 
pied the position of Mayor of the town, and in 
the same year was appointed to the Board of 
Trustees of the Woodstock Grammar School, a 
position he has retained to the present time. 
He has always shown much interest in the 
progress of educational affairs. 

Perhaps more than any other man, Mr. 
Sutherland has been instrumental in making 
Woodstock the splendid railway and business 
centre it is to-day. He is a charter member of 
the Woodstock Board of Trade, and was 
elected a member of the first Board of Water 
Commissioners of the town, and has been a 
member of the Trustee Board of the Woodstock 
Hospital since its inception. He has had the 
somewhat remarkable record of never having 
been defeated in a popular election for any 
public office. 


But Mr. Sutherland's attentions have not been 
confined to municipal and educational affairs. 
He has given considerable thought and time to 
military, athletic and social matters. As a boy 
he joined the 22nd Battalion, Oxford Rifles, and 
has since held the positions of sergeant, captain, 
quartermaster and paymaster, the last of which 
he now holds with the rank of major. 

A handsome trophy in the possession of Mr. 
Sutherland, which he values highly, is a cup 
won by the famous Zorra tug-of-war team, in a 
contest in the city of Buffalo for the champion- 
ship of America, Mr. Sutherland at that time 
being their captain. 

Mr. Sutherland is a Mason of long standing, 
and has been Master of Oxford Lodge and 
Grand Senior Warden of the Grand Lodge of 
Ontario. He was also at one time Royal Chief 
of the Order of Scottish Clans of America. 

Mr. Sutherland's parliamentary career dates 
from the year 1880, and to-day there are only 
seven members in the House of Commons who 
have sat continuously for so long a time. In 
that year, on the sudden death of Mr. Thomas 


Oliver, he was elected to represent North 
Oxford. Since that time he has sat in Parlia- 
ment without interruption, having been returned 
in all six times, his majority having gradually 
increased from 370 in his first election to 1602 
in the election of the present year. In 1891 he 
was chosen chief Liberal Whip, a position he 
held for eight years, during which time by his 
unfailing tact, broad sympathies and generous 
good nature, he won the esteem alike of political 
friends and opponents. 

Probably no other man has been as closely 
identified with the internal affairs of the Liberal 
party during recent years. In 1893 he was 
Chairman of the Committee of General Arrange- 
ments at the great Liberal convention held in 
Ottawa, when the seed was sown from which 
resulted the abundant harvests of 1896 and 

As Chairman of the Railway Committee, 
which is the largest committee of the House, 
Mr. Sutherland has shown a strength of purpose 
and an ability to grapple with large questions 
which place him in the front rank as a leader of 


Thus he rose, step by step on the ladder, till 
on the 3<Dth of September, 1899, he became a 
member of the Privy Council and of the Domin- 
ion Cabinet. His constituents seized upon this 
important event in his career to again testify 
their unbounded admiration for the talents 
which had won for him such distinction in the 
councils of the nation, and tendered him such a 
demonstration as has seldom been witnessed in 
Western Ontario. 

I quote a sentence or two from one of the 
daily papers : " Probably never before in the 
history of Woodstock has the town been the 
scene of such a demonstration as was witnessed 
there last night at the reception of Hon. James 
Sutherland, the newly-appointed Cabinet Min- 
ister. Nearly every inhabitant of Woodstock 
was on the street. Poor men were there ; and 
wealthy men ; artisans jostled their employers ; 
Conservatives were as enthusiastic as Liberals, a 
crowd of various social stations and of opposite 
political opinions, but on this occasion being 
united in the common desire of doing honor 
to the man, whose worth has been proven by 


long years of municipal and national labors, and 
has been recognized by the Government in his 
elevation to the Privy Councillorship." 

The reception was worthy of the man. As 
the 7.14 train pulled into the Canadian Pacific 
railway station, cheers of welcome from thou- 
sands of throats rent the air. The waving 
motion of the sea of torches, and the shower of 
rockets, told the expectant crowds farther up 
the street that the Minister had arrived. From 
the station the vast procession marched to the 
skating rink, where enthusiastic speeches were 
made by leading citizens. All were proud of 
"the Zorra boy" who had lived among them, had 
labored for them, and who had by his own 
worth and perseverance raised himsef to one of 
the highest positions in the gift of his country. 

A recent writer, discussing Mr. Sutherland's 
appointment to the Cabinet, says : " Possessed 
of caution, keen perception, and rare executive 
ability, Mr. Sutherland has now won for himself 
an honorable place in the House. His greatest 
enemy has never accused him of being a self- 
seeker. Of a modest and retiring nature, he 


does not frequently speak at length in the 
House, but whenever he rises the members 
listen with attention to his utterances. The 
business man who quietly can go along in an 
unostentatious way, and achieve honor for him- 
self and his country, by his foresight and execu- 
tive ability, will make a much better Cabinet 
Minister than those who have no stock-in-trade 
but high-sounding oratory." 




IT has frequently been said of Canadians that 
they have produced no literature worthy the 
name, and that until they possess this, they cannot 
hope to take rank among the foremost nations 
of the world. The charge may be partially 
true, but it is more true that during the past 
half-dozen years a son of Zorra has given to 
the world a high type of work, peculiarly Cana- 
dian, and that could only be penned by one 
whose heart beat full and strong for his native 

It is not more than six years since the pen- 
name of " Ralph Connor " first appeared in print. 
To-day one of his books is standing fifth in the 
list of sales in Philadelphia, and ninth in 
London, England, the American sale having 



reached the " sixty-fifth thousand." His plunge 
into fame has been phenomenal in the literary 
world. But his career has only begun. 

The author, " Ralph Connor," is the man, 
Rev. Charles W. Gordon, B.A., pastor of St. 
Stephen's Presbyterian Church, Winnipeg. Mr. 
Gordon is not the first of fame in his line of 
ancestry. His mother, herself a woman remark- 
able for her strength of character, lofty piety 
and mental power, was a cousin of Rev. Andrew 
Murray, the renowned leader of the Dutch Re- 
formed South African Church, and of the late 
Robertson Smith, Professor of Hebrew in Cam- 
bridge College ; she was a sister of the famous 
author of " Christie Refern's Troubles," Miss M. 
M. Robertson. Mrs. Gordon was the daughter 
of a Scotch Congregational minister, so that the 
subject of our sketch comes naturally by his 
love of divinity, through both lines of ancestry, 
his father, Rev. Daniel Gordon, having been 
pastor of Harrington Presbyterian Church, 
Zorra, for many years. And a wonderful man 
is his father. His descent on his maternal side 
is traceable to the celebrated Stuarts of Fincastle. 


and through them to Mary, Queen of Scots. 
When but sixteen years of age, he travelled with 
the great Rev. W. C. Burns, during a mighty 
revival, throughout Perthshire, Scotland. In 
1849 he came to Canada under the auspices of 
the Free Church of Scotland. After three years 
of earnest labor as a missionary, in the Province 
of Quebec, he received a call to Indian Lands, 
Glengarry County, Ont, which he accepted. The 
life of Rev. Mr. Gordon and his young family 
during the succeeding years were full of hard- 
ships and trial, all nobly endured and splendidly 

May it not be that the seed of that passion 
for rough nature, as well as his great love for the 
untutored pioneers of our civilization, which 
have made "Ralph Connor" famous on two con- 
tinents, was sown while his home was cast 
among the forests of Glengarry and the hills of 
Harrington ? 

The senior Gordon is a man of great force 
and originality ; over six feet tall, full-bearded, 
and full to the finger-tips with Highland fire. 
He is spending his latter years in London, Ont., 


and here he will regale his Highland friends any 
day with such strains as " Lochaber No More," 
or " Mackintosh's Lament," on a set of pipes 
given his father by the late Duke of Gordon. 

With such a parentage it can be little wonder 
that Charles W. Gordon has forged to the front. 
He has become possessed of a noble heritage of 
deep intellectual and spiritual power undoubt- 
edly the secret of his subtle influence in reaching 
the hearts of his readers. 

Eleven years old when he came to Zorra with 
his father's family, he went at once to work to 
earn money to pay for his education, working in 
the harvest field during the holidays, and doing 
what chores he could during winter evenings, till 
he was of an age to teach school. His course at 
Toronto University was a promising one, many 
honors and scholarships falling into his lap. 
" He sailed through his university course as on 
a summer's sea," says one who knows him well, 
" for though gifted with an alert and compre- 
hensive mind, ' Ralph Connor ' never bothered 
about studying." 

The same deep, tender sympathy is as much 


with Mr. Gordon in private life as it is present 
in every page of his literary work. He can 
count his friends by the score in all parts of the 
Dominion, and he has enjoyed the intimate 
acquaintanceship of such well-known people as 
Lord and Lady Aberdeen, and the late Dr. 
Henry Drummond, whom he is singularly like 
in his winsome, genial disposition. 

If candor, simplicity, concreteness and sugges- 
tiveness count for anything in literature, " Ralph 
Connor" has given us two valuable books, 
"Black Rock," and "The Sky Pilot." His 
characters are the people of the wild and free 
West, where men soon learn to dispense with 
the superfluous things of life in older lands; and 
true to them, he has not burdened them with 
tedious descriptions or abstract discussions, 
which often spoil an otherwise interesting book. 

He has embodied in " The Sky Pilot," Chris- 
tianity ; and has proved in a beautiful series of 
descriptive scenes its power to win, help and save 
even the sensual and depraved, as represented 
by Bruce, the intellectual and scholarly young 
Scotchman, but at heart the coarsest of all that 
terrible " Company of the Noble Seven." 


Then he shows us what Christianity can do 
for a spoiled child, like Gwen. Naturally high- 
spirited and masterful, she was completely 
ruined by indulgence ; and, when the day of 
adversity overtakes her, her foolish friends stand 
helpless before the task of making her life 
tolerable by self-control. The Pilot, however, 
steps in and fills her heart, not only with 
patience, but makes the canyon an unsightly 
chasm Providence had ripped up through her 
life, to bloom with flowers of the rarest beauty 
and fragrance those flowers of the Spirit, love, 
peace, meekness and self-control. 

Gwen is equally successful with the beautiful 
but haughty and rebellious Lady Charlotte, who, 
too, had her canyon, with no flowers, nor seeds, 
nor soil, till she looked at life through Gwen's 

In Robbie Muir, a penurious Christian is held 
up as a fitting object for the world's scorn. 

The " Opening of the Swan Creek Church," 
and "The Pilot's Last Port," are tender chapters. 
The former lets us see what the Spirit of Christ 
can do with an unlikely man in an emergency. 


There is pathos, as well as grim humor, in " dear 
old Bill's " words : " 'Taint in my line. But the 
Pilot says there's got to be a prayer, and I'm 
going to stay with the game." 

The last chapter of the book, entitled " The 
Pilot's Last Port," leaves us with the Swan 
Creek people offering their tribute of tears to 
the memory of a good man, thus reaffirming the 
conviction that held the Pilot steady, that first 
Sunday evening in Swan Creek, when he ex- 
claimed, " Men can't live without Him and be 

The New York Critic said recently, in com- 
menting upon Mr. Gordon's work : " His 
spiritual value as a writer of idylls cannot be 
overestimated, and much could be said about 
that spiritual touch all his own, so rare, subtle, 
sure. His best book has yet to be written, and 
those who know him well, know that he has a 
tremendous literary power in reserve, not power 
which is being occasionally withheld, but which 
is lying latent. He has it in him to write a 
book which could easily stand first in Canadian 



" DEATH loves a shining mark," said a New 
York paper, when announcing the death of 
Alexander S. Macleod, M.A., pastor of the 
Camp Memorial Congregational Church of that 
city. He was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. 
Angus Macleod, 8th lot, 3rd con., West Zorra, 
and he died on March 25th, 1896, in the thirty- 
eighth year of his life. 

He was a born student, and his life was 
characterized by great earnestness, a lofty ideal, 
and a willingness to sacrifice himself for the good 
of others, and to promote the glory of his blessed 
Master. He received his primary education at 
the district school near Embro, and his theo- 
logical course at the Congregational College, 
Montreal. The degree of B.D. was conferred 
upon him at Oberlin, Ohio ; that of B.A. and 


M.A. at Columbia College, New York. He had 
passed his examination for the degree of Ph.D., 
but death intervened, calling him to a still 
higher honor. 

In the twelfth year of his age, during the 
Russell and Carroll series of evangelistic services 
at Embro, he gave his heart to God. His new 
nature was too earnest to be hidden. At once 
he stood up for Jesus, and to this day many 
remember the fervid appeals of the boy, and his 
earnest pleadings with the unconverted to accept 
Christ as their personal Saviour. Some indeed 
there are still living, who point to the humble, 
simple, but effective pleadings of "little Alec 
Macleod " at that time, as the beginning of a 
happy change in their earthly career. 

Through all his subsequent life this thirst of 
spirit for the salvation of souls seemed to increase, 
until his whole life and being were absorbed in 
consecrated service. 

But while thus earnest in pastoral and pulpit 
work, he labored faithfully to attain, in point of 
scholarship, the highest eminence which his time 
and ability put within his reach. In this he was, 

REV. A. S. MACLEOD, M.A. 207 

as we have seen, very successful ; but in the 
closing hours of his life his testimony to those 
around him was, that all worldly attainments 
were not to be compared with one look at his 
crucified Saviour, and the sweet communion of 
soul he enjoyed with Him. 

Before his death, like John in Patmos, he was 
permitted to catch a glimpse of the heavenly 
city, and to triumph in the assurance of his 
Saviour's love. 

The earthly remains were brought to Embro, 
and a service held in the Congregational church, 
in which several clergymen took part. At the 
deceased's request, Rev. Mr. Salmon preached 
the funeral sermon, holding up Christ, and Christ 
alone, as the sinner's Saviour. 

There was a vast concourse of friends and 
acquaintances, and each one seemed to feel the 
sorrow and the solemnity of the occasion. 

The remains were deposited in the family 
plot at North Embro, and on the grave was de- 
posited the gift of the New York City Mission, 
which consisted of a " pillow of flowers," with the 
inscription " Asleep in Jesus." 



I AM no lover of war ; with all my soul I hate 
it. At the same time I am not an advocate of 
peace at any price. There are doubtless occa- 
sions when a nation has as good a right to de- 
fend itself against invaders as the head of a 
family has to defend his household against 
midnight robbers and assassins. When Kruger 
and Steyn issued their insulting ultimatum, in- 
vaded British possessions, and shot down Brit- 
ish subjects in South Africa, would it not have 
been criminal as well as cowardly in the mother 
country not to defend her people? The justice 
of the war appealed to British subjects every- 
where, and soon the Colonies were represented 



by 20,000 soldiers on the field of battle. Never 
did Highlanders respond more promptly or 
cheerfully to the call of the fiery cross, than 
did the people of Canada, on this occasion, to 
the demands of British loyalty. 

And Zorra was not last. In the person of 
Capt. John Munro Ross she gave one of her 
bravest and most patriotic boys to fight for 
Queen and country in Africa. " Jack," as he is 
familiarly known, is a typical Canadian boy 
bright, intelligent, self- reliant, resourceful, fond of 
sport, and, although never posing as a saint was 
always true to his convictions. While quite 
young he was appointed Secretary of Knox 
Church Sabbath School, Embro, the duties of 
which he discharged with fidelity and efficiency. 
Never was his place in the family pew un- 
necessarily vacant, Sabbath morning or evening. 
He was kind-hearted, gentle, and devotedly 
attached to his mother. Do these qualities not 
lie at the very basis of true bravery? History 
tells us of the heroism of "Havelock's saints," 
and how Lord Clyde, on one occasion, asked 
his officers to pick out the bravest men from 


his small army before Delhi, to form the forlorn 
hope in a desperate attack. It was on a Sun- 
day evening. The reply was : " There is a 
prayer-meeting going on now in the camp. If 
you go there you will find all the bravest men." 
The following brief sketch of Capt. Ross's 
career will, I hope, be of interest to readers of 
this book : He was born in West Zorra on 
July 2nd, 1877. He comes of a good military 
family, his father being Capt. D. R. Ross, and 
two of his younger brothers at present hold- 
ing commissions in the Oxford Rifles. He is 
closely related to the Gordons of military re- 
nown, of whom Capt. Gordon, of Embro, is a 
worthy representative. He received his early 
education at the Embro Public School. His 
teacher writes me : " He was an apt pupil, 
quickly grasping anything which was before the 
class. The mechanical part of his work was 
always executed in a very short time, and it re- 
quired no- little ingenuity on the part of his 
teacher to devise employment for him." From 
1891 to 1895 he attended the Woodstock Col- 
legiate Institute. Here he showed marked 


ability in composition, frequently writing essays 
for boys of his form, to whom this part of col- 
lege work was a burden. For some time he 
was district correspondent of the Sentinel- 
Review, and his humorous descriptions of local 
matters, particularly municipal politics, attracted 
considerable attention. This literary talent has 
since been well developed, as the readers of 
his graphic letters from South Africa know. 
He was always fond of outdoor sports, and was 
the champion player in the Collegiate Insti- 
tute hockey team. 

He is a lover also of horses, and his fearless- 
ness and presence of mind in managing a 
spirited team on more than one occasion saved 
his life. Several times he was in a runaway, 
when almost everything behind the horses was 
smashed with the exception of himself. This 
same good luck followed him into South Africa. 
Writing after the battle of Paardeberg, he says : 
"The bullets came pretty close together. It 
was my first time under fire, but I wasn't ner- 
vous, though I could not help ducking my head 
when something went ' ping ' right past my 


ear. Bullets make about a dozen different 
sounds, and as we lay on the sand that morning 
we had a great opportunity to enumerate them 
all. I had about fifty narrow escapes ; in fact, it 
was a close shave all day. I was behind a little 
knoll with a couple of my men, and we put in a 
bad half-hour. About three Boers evidently had 
us marked. We dug holes in the sand, and 
got head protection, but if we moved a muscle of 
our bodies we got a volley." 

In the above quotation Capt. Ross speaks 
of being under fire for the first time, but a fellow- 
student at the Collegiate recalls an occasion 
when, on Halloween, Jack and a few of the boys 
sallied forth to celebrate the night in the cus- 
tomary way. A householder, who expected 
some such visitors, was prepared, and when 
the boys got well started, discharged a shot- 
gun loaded with peas around their legs. Jack 
and his companions beat a more hasty retreat 
than we have ever heard of Canadian boys 
doing before the fire of the Boers. 

In 1895 young Ross matriculated into Toronto 
University, and attended one year as an Arts 


student. Then for two years he engaged in the 
milling business with his father. His mind was, 
however, set on completing his university course ; 
and with this purpose in view he studied during 
the session of 1898-99 in McGill College, Mont- 
real. Unselfish and obliging, he was extremely 
popular with his fellow-students. The news- 
papers have told us how, on the occasion of his 
passing through Montreal as a member of the 
first contingent to Africa, his old fellow-students, 
recognizing him, shouted " Here he comes !" 
" Hurrah for Jack !" and forgetting all military 
rules, rushed forward, seized him, and carried 
him shoulder-high from place to place. " I 
hope," said he, humorously, when let down, " the 
Boers won't treat me as rough as that." 

His military career may be thus summed up 
Appointed 2nd lieutenant, provisionally, No. 2 
Company, 22nd Regt, Oxford Rifles, under his 
father, Capt. D. R. Ross, in 1896, Commanding 
officer, Colonel Munro. Attended Wolseley 
Barracks, London, and took a course of instruc- 
tion under Colonel Smith ; obtained his com- 
mission and was gazetted lieutenant. In 1896-97 


was lieutenant of Embro Company, under his 
uncle, Capt. Jas. G. Ross. In 1 899 he was gazetted 
captain, and given command of No. 2 Company, 
Embro. In 1899, as already intimated, he was one 
of the first to volunteer for active service in South 
Africa, and was appointed lieutenant of " B " 
Company, 2nd Batt.,R. C.R., under Major Stuart, 
of London, as captain. His after history is iden- 
tified with that of our Royal Canadian Regiment, 
whose daring and dash have won the admiration 
of the whole world, and done more than any 
other event of recent years to promote the unity 
of the British Empire, and to make the name 
Canadian known and honored everywhere. 

Capt. Ross commanded "B" Company during 
Lord Roberts' march across the Free State, and 
also in the famous battle of Paardeberg, where 
Gen. Cronje, with his 4,000 men, was surrounded 
and captured. The march to Paardeberg was 
one of the hardest ever recorded in military 
annals. The boys were reduced to half-rations, 
while they had to travel through mud and rain 
without cessation. Speaking of it, Capt. Ross 
says : " I never put in such a night in my life. 


It seemed physically impossible to keep awake. 
Every little while I would get Marshall, of *C' 
Company, to shake me until my teeth rattled. 
That did some good. It was very dark, and we 
had to stop frequently on account of the trans- 
port. As soon as ' halt ' was given every man 
dropped in his tracks sound asleep." Speaking 
of Paardeberg, Capt. Ross says : " An action 
was on when we arrived, and as soon as we could 
swallow a biscuit and some hot coffee, we were 
pushed on." The crossing of the river by means 
of ropes, and in water up to the waist, and the 
fierce and long-continued fight afterwards, in 
which the Canadians bore such an honorable 
part, are now matters of history, which we need 
not here wait to relate. Paardeberg is written 
large in the diary of Zorra men. 

Capt. Ross continues : "The Boers surrendered 
next morning, and we were personally thanked 
by Lord Roberts. I handled the first batch of 
prisoners, and they looked fat and comfortable. 
Cronje himself isn't much to see. We were the 
first into the laager, and our chaps got flour and 
rice, and all sorts of luxuries. I got an elegant 


Mauser carbine, and shall try to take it home 
with me." 

On May ist, at Thaba N'Chu, Capt. Ross 
was wounded. He says : " I got a bullet in 
the ribs and collapsed. Then I rolled behind 
a stone and bled for about an hour, all the time 
doing some tall thinking." 

Riding forty miles over a rough road, stretched 
in the bottom of an ox-wagon, to Bloemfontein 
Hospital, was his next experience. After lying 
there for some time he was invalided to Eng- 
land, where, after resting a few weeks, he 
received permission from the doctors, and at 
once set off to join his regiment in Africa. 
However, the war virtually came to a close, and 
the Government ceased sending out more sol- 
diers. Capt. Ross returned home, and his friends, 
who watched with pride his career in South 
Africa, trust he may long live to win even greater 
honors in cultivating the arts of peace than he 
and his fellow-patriots did as soldiers of the 

Zorra is justly proud of the presidents, pro- 
fessors, clergymen, lawyers, doctors, school 


teachers, and successful business men she has 
given to the world, and she has no reason to feel 
ashamed of her brave soldier boy, Capt. Jack 

Whatever the primary reference of the follow- 
ing verses, they fit in so well that I here subjoin 
them : 

Oh ! we love our British Empire, 

And we flaunt her colors free, 
And we bless our boy and send him 

To the fighting o'er the sea. 
He's no " absent-minded beggar" 

With a knapsack on his back ; 
He's his country's Morning Glory ! 

He's our own Canadian Jack ! 

No, he does not hate the foeman, 

But he loves his country well, 
And will do his sacred duty 

In the face of heaven and hell. 
He has had a praying mother, 

And he knows the golden rule, 
And he carries high opinions 

Of the state and church and school. 

With his bullets and his Bible 

He is furnished for the fight, 
And the prayers from home surround him 

When he lays him down at night. 
Oh ! the front rank in the battle ! 

That is where he longs to be. 
He will boldly face the strongholds 

Of his country's enemy. 


A ZORRA boy that is still fondly remembered 
by many old associates is Dr. A. E. Matheson, 
of Concordia, Kansas, U.S. He was born on 
lot 24, 8th line, West Zorra, in 1859. This was 
a distance of about eight miles from the Embro 
church, which along with his parents he attended. 
Here is his early church-going experience : " We 
boys, after we reached the age of seven or eight 
years, were required to accompany our parents 
to church on Sunday, walking a distance of 
seven or eight miles there, and the same distance 
returning home. Sometimes we fell behind our 
parents a few hundred yards, and then occa- 
sionally we were tempted to ' brak the Sawbath ' 
by picking up beech-nuts, or berries, or worse 
still, chasing the woodpecker, chipmunk or red 
squirrel. But for this backsliding we were 



quickly brought to time, and reminded of our 
degeneracy, and ' hoo far behint our ancestors 
we were in thocht, an' word, an' deed.' 

" Still, the long journey to and from the kirk 
was not such a terror to us as being required after 
reaching home to give the 'heids' of the sermon. 
This was the sword of Damocles over us, for 
oh ! the ' heids ' were sometimes as confusing as 
in the case of Ian Maclaren's preacher ; and the 
sermon was vera lang, and contained much that 
we couldna carry hame, and muckle mair that 
we couldna carry oot. However, the long 
journey developed muscle, and the long sermon 
with the many ' heids ' developed memory, and 
the whole gave us a keen sense of the fact that 
life was real and earnest." 

Dr. Matheson received his primary education 
in the little school-house on the 8th line, 22nd 
lot. He was physically a light-weight, but wiry 
and vivacious, and was usually the leader in all 
games and combats. On one occasion, after 
receiving the due reward of his misdeeds, he, 
with two or three others, formed a plot to thrash 
the teacher just as the school would be dismissed 


that day. But, " fortunately for us," he writes, 
" a visitor came to the school that afternoon and 
spoiled our plot." 

In 1875 he left Zorra and went to Goderich, 
where he attended school, providing himself with 
board and clothes by his earnings after school 
hours. From Goderich he went to Detroit, 
where he found employment with Dr. Cleland. 
He writes : " At night I attended the Business 
College, and learned telegraphy. I soon held a 
good position as a telegraph operator and station 

At this time there were good openings for 
young men in Kansas, and young Matheson 
took Horace Greeley's advice, and went west. 
Here he attended a veterinary college, and in 
due time graduated as a V.S., which honorable 
calling he has pursued ever since, and in which 
he has greatly prospered. 

Decision, self-denial and self-control are the 
most striking features in the character of this 
son of Zorra. He is also endowed with a kind, 
sympathetic disposition which soon wins con- 
fidence. He has always been an active church 


worker, and in this way his acquaintances and 
companions were men and women who were 
always ready to help him in life's conflicts. 

" The young man who would really succeed 
in life," he writes, " must seek good company, 
cultivate self-control, and practise self-denial ; 
for bear in mind, success means not wealth, but 
character, not rank, but usefulness." 

Dr. Matheson is the son of Wm. Matheson, 
one of the earliest of the Zorra pioneers, who, 
although now in the eighties, enjoys good health 
and delights to relate reminiscences of early 
days. To him I owe the following incidents, 
which will be read with interest by lovers of 
old folk-lore : 

" Near Embro lived a Highlander whom we 
shall designate as Mack, the first part of his 
name. Better off than most of his countrymen, 
Mack brought with him from the Old Country 
about $200 in gold sovereigns. In those primi- 
tive times a sovereign went a long way in Zorra., 
and many a poor man and destitute widow re- 
ceived help from Mack's little bag of gold. No 
interest was ever charged, simply a verbal 


request, ' when she get the money she pay me.' 
Mack's debtors got to be quite numerous, and 
soon it got to be rumored that Mack had some 
uncanny way of making sovereigns. This re- 
port coming to his ears, he enjoyed it, and he 
made up his mind to encourage it. So one day a 
neighbor came for a loan. ' She no have it noo, 
but if she pe come after dinner she will be get- 
tin' what she wants.' 

" So after dinner Mack put a pot of water on 
the fire. Then bringing out his little bag of gold, 
he put it into the pot when he saw his neighbor 
coming. Taking it out of the boiling water he 
told his neighbor, 'She pe have it when the 
money get cold.' 

" Nothing more was wanted to convince the 
neighbor that all was not right, and shocked be- 
yond expression, he quickly rose from his chair, 
and left the house saying, 'It's the deevil's money, 
she no have it na, na; she pe poor, but honest.'" 

"On another occasion a neighbor came to 
Mack for a loan. The following dialogue en- 
sued : 

" Neighbor : ' Mack, I have come to borrow a 


little money, as one of my oxen is dead, and I 
must get another.' 

" Mack : ' And what much she pe wantin' to 
porrow ? ' 

" Neighbor : ' I would require four sovereigns.' 

"Mack : ' And that much she'll pe gettin', and 
she'll pey it paack when she pe aaple.' 

" Neighbor : ' Thank you, and now will you 
get me a pen and ink and a bit of paper ? ' 

"Mack : ' For what will she pe want a pet of 
paaper ? ' 

" Neighbor : ' I want to give you a note for 
the money.' 

"Mack: ' Na, na' (putting the money back 
into his wallet), ' if she'll no trust her nainsel ' to 
pay wi' oot a pet of paaper, I'll na trust her. 
She'll get na money from me.' 

Nor did he. 

Mr. Matheson has vivid recollections of the 
scenes of '37 in Oxford. Only one of these can 
I here give. He says : " On the old stage road, 
about three miles from Ingersoll, there lived on 
his farm a man by the name of Karn. He was 
strongly suspected of being in collusion with 


Mackenzie's rebels. So he was pursued by 
McNab's soldiers, and his house surrounded. 
Escape was impossible. Karn took to his bed 
and feigned sickness. The soldiers entered the 
house, and were about to remove him to Wood- 
stock jail ; but the wife was equal to the occa- 
sion. She cried, she sobbed, and loudly assured 
them that her husband would be dead before 
they reached Woodstock with him, and warned 
them that they would suffer the consequences. 
The soldiers were intimidated. A doctor was 
sent for. One of the neighbors went to meet the 
doctor, and let him into the secret. The doctor 
came, looked at the man, examined him closely, 
and ordered him not to be moved or he might 
die at any moment. The doctor came every day 
to see him, and reported him as steadily getting 
weaker. Some neighbors sat up all night taking 
care of him. There were ten men designated to 
guard his house, five by day and five by night. 
One guarded his bedroom door, two the outside 
door, and one at each of the two windows in the 
house. But he escaped. How ? There was a 
woman in it. His wife got up every morning, 


put a shawl over her shoulders, and an old hood 
over her head ; then with a pail in each hand 
went down the road quite a piece to where there 
was a spring of water. After doing this for 
several days, one morning the old man got up, 
put the shawl over his shoulders, and the hood 
over his head, took a pail in each hand, passed 
the inside and outside guards, went for water, 
and well he was next heard of in the State of 
New York." 

Old Mr. Matheson distinctly remembers the 
famine of '41. He says: "Flour was very 
scarce. I got a barrel from the States and paid 
$15 for it." When he opened it he found the 
flour had got wet and was all in one solid cake. 
" With the axe," he says, " we cut it up into 
lumps, then with a mallet we pounded it into 
flour again, and sour as it was, we were glad 
to have it. Many that spring lived on leeks, 
molasses, sugar and potatoes." 



JOHN S. MACKAY was born July 25th, 1852, 
on concession 9, lot 9, East Zorra. His father 
and uncle are referred to on page 22 of " Pioneer 
Life in Zorra," as among the very first settlers 
of the district, and it may safely be asserted 
that no two men in Zorra were ever more highly 
respected by their neighbors. 

No Zorra boy abroad is more deserving of a 
place in these pages than J. S. Mackay, and yet 
his life does not call for much speaking. It has 
been the quiet, even, but persistent course of an 
honest, industrious Christian man. Of him it 
may truly be said : 

* ' Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing, 

Onward through life he goes ; 
Each morning finds some work begun, 
Each evening sees its close." 



The lesson for the young man to learn from 
the career of J. S. Mackay is to put before him- 
self a high purpose and then live for it. "Drift," 
writes one at the age of sixty, " has been the 
ruin of my life. For threescore years 1 have 
been on life's sea, going wherever the winds and 
tides took me, like a mariner without chart or 
compass." Many accomplish little or nothing 
because they never have a wise and enduring 
purpose in life. They aim at nothing and they 
hit it. Not so the subject of this brief sketch. 
He early learned an honorable trade, and he 
stuck to it, and to-day he is reaping the benefit 
in a comfortable home and a splendid character. 
His advice to young men is, " Get on the right 
track and stick to it. You will get there in 

At the age of seventeen he left home to learn 
the millwright trade, serving four years with 
Robert Whitelaw, Beachville (now of Wood- 
stock). For twenty years he worked at this 
trade in Canada and the United States, and 
helped to erect some of the finest mills in the 


In 1889 he started in the milling business for 
himself in Boissevain, Man., and to-day he is 
sole owner of the best I5o-barrel mill in Mani- 
toba, as well as of the quarter section of land 
on which the mill is situated. 

Mr. Mackay has great hope for the future of 
Manitoba, and strongly advises any young man 
seeking a home to come west and secure one. 

To his early Christian training and persis- 
tency of purpose may be attributed his success, 
financial and moral. 

Mrs. Mackay is a native ot Aberdeenshire, 
Scotland, and remembers well Queen Victoria's 
visit year after year to the ruins of old Kil- 
drummie Castle.